2013 Conference of the International Medical Geology Association (25–29 August 2013)

Paper No. 10
Presentation Time: 5:10 PM


ADAMIC, Jessica F., Department of Earth Sciences, Indiana University-Purdue University-Indianapolis (IUPUI), 723 West Michigan Street, SL 118, Indianapolis, IN 46202, FILIPPELLI, Gabriel, Department of Earth Sciences, IUPUI, Indianapolis, IN 46202-5132, LATIMER, Jennifer C., Department of Earth and Environmental Systems, Indiana State University, Terre Haute, IN 47809, CARTER, Tim, Center for Urban Ecology, Butler University, 4600 Sunset Ave, Indianapolis, IN 46208 and NICHOLS, Deborah Morrison, Earth Science, IUPUI, 723 W. Michigan St., SL 118, Indianapolis, IN 46220, jess.adamic@gmail.com

The presence of elevated lead (Pb) concentrations in the urban soils of Indianapolis and the negative implications those elevated levels have on human health has been well documented (Filippelli, G., Laidlaw, M., 2010; Laidlaw et al., 2012). Previous results have led to an interest in better understanding the spatial variability of lead within yards and neighborhoods. The Safe Urban Gardening Initiative was created as a community based research program with two goals: (1) to improve public health via education, and (2) to collect address-level heavy metal data, including Pb, in an urban environment for the purposes of understanding risk repositories and predicting exposure potentials of different communities to Pb. The initiative was designed so that interested individuals will personally sample their yard, garden, near the street, and from under their gutter line (dripline). The results from these samples are providing insight into the distribution patterns of soil Pb within a yard and throughout neighborhoods. Preliminary results from the study demonstrate wide variations in Pb concentrations in the different areas of interest. For all samples analyzed (~1500), average concentrations were highest beneath the dripline (726 ppm), followed by the yard (347 ppm), and the existing garden (271 ppm). Samples taken near the street were found to have the lowest average Pb concentrations (198 ppm). Pb concentrations are highly variable within and between yards, leading us to further examine how they vary at the block level through neighborhood comparisons. To further investigate exposure prevention and areas in need of soil remediation, detailed mapping by GIS has been used to plot soil Pb concentrations by address across Indianapolis beginning at the county level and increasing in resolution with census tract and census block group plots. This research allows us to begin to understand the variation in the distribution of soil Pb across an urban area like Indianapolis and to use the knowledge to potentially predict areas of exposure or risk.
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