Science Inventory

Relative Bioavailability and Bioaccessability and Speciation of Arsenic in Contaminated Soils


BRADHAM, K. D., K. G. SCHECKEL, C. M. Nelson, P. E. Seales, G. E. Lee, M. F. HUGHES, B. W. Miller, A. YEOW, T. Gilmore, S. L. HARPER, AND D. J. Thomas. Relative Bioavailability and Bioaccessability and Speciation of Arsenic in Contaminated Soils. ENVIRONMENTAL HEALTH PERSPECTIVES. National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences (NIEHS), Research Triangle Park, NC, 119(11):1629-1634, (2011).


The National Exposure Research Laboratory′s (NERL) Human Exposure and Atmospheric Sciences Division (HEASD) conducts research in support of EPA′s mission to protect human health and the environment. HEASD′s research program supports Goal 1 (Clean Air) and Goal 4 (Healthy People) of EPA′s strategic plan. More specifically, our division conducts research to characterize the movement of pollutants from the source to contact with humans. Our multidisciplinary research program produces Methods, Measurements, and Models to identify relationships between and characterize processes that link source emissions, environmental concentrations, human exposures, and target-tissue dose. The impact of these tools is improved regulatory programs and policies for EPA.


Background: Assessment of soil arsenic (As) bioavailability may profoundly affect the extent of remediation required at contaminated sites by improving human exposure estimates. Because small adjustments in soil As bioavailability estimates can significantly alter risk assessments and remediation goals, convenient, rapid, reliable, and inexpensive tools are needed to determine soil As bioavailability. Objectives: We evaluated inexpensive methods for assessing As bioavailability in soil as a means to improve human exposure estimates and potentially reduce remediation costs. Methods: Nine soils from residential sites affected by mining or smelting activity and two National Institute of Standards and Technology standard reference materials were evaluated for As bioavailability, bioaccessibility, and speciation. Arsenic bioavailability was determined using an in vivo mouse model, and As bioaccessibility was determined using the Solubility/Bioavailability Research Consortium in vitro assay. Arsenic speciation in soil and selected soil physicochemical properties were also evaluated to determine whether these parameters could be used as predictors of As bio¬availability and bioaccessibility. Results: In the mouse assay, we compared bioavailabilities of As in soils with that for sodium arsenate. Relative bioavailabilities (RBAs) of soil As ranged from 11% to 53% (mean, 33%). In vitro soil As bioaccessibility values were strongly correlated with soil As RBAs (R2 = 0.92). Among physi¬cochemical properties, combined concentrations of iron and aluminum accounted for 80% and 62% of the variability in estimates of RBA and bioaccessibility, respectively. Conclusion: The multifaceted approach described here yielded congruent estimates of As bio¬availability and evidence of interrelations among physicochemical properties and bioavailability estimates.

Record Details:

Product Published Date: 11/01/2011
Record Last Revised: 11/30/2011
OMB Category: Other
Record ID: 236786