Due to variations in soil physicochemical properties, species physiology, and contaminant speciation, Pb toxicity is difficult to evaluate without conducting in vivo dose-response studies. Such tests, however, are expensive and time consuming, making them impractical to use in assessment and management of contaminated environments. One possible alternative is to develop a physiologically based extraction test (PBET) that can be used to measure relative bioaccessibility. We developed and correlated a PBET designed to measure the bioaccessibility of Pb to waterfowl (W-PBET) in mine-impacted soils located in the Coeur d'Alene River Basin, Idaho. The W-PBET was also used to evaluate the impact of P amendments on Pb bioavailability. The W-PBET results were correlated to waterfowl-tissue Pb levels from a mallard duck [Anas platyrhynchos (L.)] feeding study. The W-PBET Pb concentrations were significantly less in the P-amended soils than in the unamended soils. Results from this study show that the W-PBET can be used to assess relative changes in Pb bioaccessibility to waterfowl in these mine-impacted soils, and therefore will be a valuable test to help manage and remediate contaminated soils.
Additional publication details
Risk assessment test for lead bioaccessibility to waterfowl in mine-impacted soils