Investigating the relationship between speciation and oral/lung bioaccessibility of a highly contaminated tailing: contribution in health risk assessment

  • Matthias Monneron--Gyurits /
  • Marilyne Soubrand /
  • Emmanuel Joussein /
  • Alexandra Courtin-Nomade /
  • Irene Jubany /
  • Sandra Casas /
  • Neus Bahí /
  • Angel Faz /
  • Maria Gabarrón /
  • Jose Alberto Acosta /
  • Silvia Martínez-Martínez
Journal ar
Environmental Science and Pollution Research
  • Volumen: 27
  • Número: 32
  • Fecha: 01 November 2020
  • Páginas: 40732-40748
  • ISSN: 16147499 09441344
  • Source Type: Journal
  • DOI: 10.1007/s11356-020-10074-x
  • Document Type: Article
  • Publisher: Springer Science and Business Media Deutschland
© 2020, Springer-Verlag GmbH Germany, part of Springer Nature.Anthropogenic activities such as industrial, mining, or agricultural are the main sources of environmental contamination. One of the most problematic contaminations concerns metals and metalloids from mining activities. This contamination raises the question of the environmental risk induced and the spread of this pollution (geographical and trophic) and the associated health risk. The integrated, multi-analytical approach of this study conducted on the mining district of Cartagena-La Union (Murcia, Spain) as part of the Interreg SUDOE European project ¿Soil Take Care¿ aims to (i) precisely define the speciation of contaminants of interest (Zn, Pb, Cd, As), (ii) predict the environmental risk related to storage stability, and (iii) establish the link between the speciation of the bearing phases and the associated health risk. To do this, a representative zone in the Cartagena-La Union mining district close to the populations was chosen. A physic-chemical characterization of the samples was performed (pH, electrical conductivity, CEC, and total metal(loid) concentrations), and the mineralogy was determined using XRD and SEM-EDS. The environmental risk was highlighted from sequential BCR-type extractions and EN-12457 leaching tests. Finally, the health risk was defined using the PSF inhalation bioaccessibility test and UBM bioaccessibility protocol (based on an operational chemical methodology mimicking soil ingestion and its residence in the gastrointestinal tract of the human body). These analyses revealed 2 groups of samples with distinct behavior. The first group of samples presents relatively stable bearing phases, mainly found in the residual fraction (As and Pb), presenting only a low health risk (very low bioaccessible). The second group consists of Cd and/or Zn-bearing phases, mainly labile (resulting from dissolution/precipitation phenomena), while gastric bioaccessibility reaches more than 85%. Note that Pb, Cd, and Zn have the potential to cause non-carcinogenic risks to children and As and Pb present a carcinogenic risk for children and adults even if only the bioaccessible fraction is considered. It has therefore been shown that the meteoric alteration of the tailing induces a change in speciation leads to an increase in environmental and health risks. These results are essential because they highlight the need for an integrated approach in order to clearly highlight the presence of risks but also that this approach will allow a better understanding of the potential rehabilitation path of this site.

Author keywords

    Indexed keywords

      Funding details