SYMPOSIA PAPER Published: 01 January 1995

Literature Review of Sources of Elevated Soil-Lead Concentrations


There is widespread evidence that elevated levels of lead in children's blood may result from exposure to house dust and soil containing lead. The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency conducted a comprehensive review of the scientific literature investigating the sources of the lead contamination of soil. This review focused on the evidence, cited in the literature, that a given source of lead was responsible for elevated soil-lead concentrations. Three primary sources of elevated soil lead were reported: 1) lead-based paint, 2) leaded gasoline emissions, and 3) lead point-source emitters. A range of analytical approaches were utilized to support the assertion that a particular source of lead contributed to surrounding elevated soil-lead levels. The interaction among the three sources, especially in urban environments, makes it difficult to ascertain which source might be the primary culprit in a particular environment. The highest soil-lead concentrations, however, are generally the result of peeling lead-based paint.

Author Information

Burgoon, DA
Statistics and Data Analysis Systems, Battelle, Columbus, OH
Brown, SF
Office of Pollution Prevention and Toxics, U. S. Environmental Protection Agency, SW, Washington, DC
Menton, RG
Statistics and Data Analysis Systems, Battelle, Columbus, OH
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Developed by Committee: D18
Pages: 76–91
DOI: 10.1520/STP12968S
ISBN-EB: 978-0-8031-5296-0
ISBN-13: 978-0-8031-1884-3