Paper No. 6
Presentation Time: 10:15 AM


FOXX, Heather, LATIMER, Jennifer C. and ALDRICH, Stephen, Department of Earth and Environmental Systems, Indiana State University, 600 Chestnut St, Terre Haute, IN 47809,

Terre Haute, Indiana, is similar to many older cities throughout the United States. Terre Haute has a history of manufacturing and industry that relied on extensive road and rail networks. This industrial history has resulted in the presence of over 20 brownfields and even a Superfund Site within the city today. Another characteristic of the city is its historic neighborhoods and abundance of pre-1940’s homes. Unfortunately, improper removal and deterioration of Pb paints as well as high lead solder used in gutters, appears to be significant sources of soil Pb in Terre Haute. The city is also downwind from an electric utility that has been historically one of the most polluting in the country. Despite the fact that most new environmental sources of Pb pollution have been eradicated, many areas of the city have elevated soil lead concentrations and the city continues to have the highest rate of childhood lead poisoning in the state.

Our goal is to better understand the modern-day spatial distribution of Pb in surface soils across the city of Terre Haute. To achieve this goal, surface soil samples were collected across the city. New data has been collected from city-owned properties (i.e. parks, cemeteries, and abandoned lots), Indiana State University land holdings within the city, residential properties, and community gardens. Data collected from residential areas includes samples near the road, from beneath the gutter dripline of the house, in the backyard, in the garden, and other areas of importance to the homeowner. Samples were analyzed via hand held XRF on site to provide the homeowner with immediate feedback and with the ultimate goal of increasing the use of safer urban gardening practices. All samples were processed and analyzed with the ICP-OES to verify the field results. Preliminary results produced a wide range of Pb concentrations, from <5 ppm to >10,000 ppm for the residential areas. Once data acquisition is complete, the spatial distribution of Pb will be determined using multiple-indicator kriging, and the results will be compared with demographic and geographic characteristics.