Science Gardener Collaborative at SETAC in November

in Uncategorized
October 17th, 2013

The Science Gardener Collaborative will be presenting at the 34th Annual Society for Environmental Toxicology and Chemistry in Nashville, TN.

Upcoming: “Relative contribution of lead via inhalation of soil particulate matter to gardener’s lead exposure” Poster session presented at Communities, Ecology, and Health: Making the Connection. 34th Annual Society for Environmental Toxicology and Chemistry; Nashville, TN. Nov 17-21, 2013. Presented by: J. Tabony, and W.J. Heiger-Bernays, Dept of Environmmental Health, BU School of Public Health, Boston, MA

Abstract: Gardening and farming in urban settings has risen in popularity in Boston, as the city has seen an increase in community gardens and urban farms in the past years. However, due to the historic use of lead-based paint and leaded gasoline, lead is ubiquitous in many urban soils, posing a potential risk to human health. Lead exposures in utero and to the young child can result in adverse effects on neurocognition, measured as learning disabilities and behavioral disorders. Evidence of older child and adult lead exposures can result in adverse effects on several organ systems, including the central nervous, gastrointestinal, reproduction and renal systems.

While the USEPA’s Integrated Exposure Uptake Biokinetic (IEUBK) Model provides a useful tool for exposure and risk assessment from lead in children, it fails to account for inhalation of particulate lead from playing in the soil while gardening. The IEUBK model only assesses risk associated with incidental ingestion while working the soil. Inhalation is addressed only for lead vapor and not the particulate lead from the soil.  Literature on lead bioavailability through the lungs based on lead species and particle size is reviewed in order to better understand the behavior of the lead in the human respiratory tract.  Empirical data are collected during simulated gardening activity. To our knowledge, these data are the first to be reported in the context of defining exposure through inhalation of particles while gardening in lead-contaminated soils.  The literature-based data on bioavailability and the fine particulate matter estimates of lead intake are combined to provide modeled estimates for a pathway not typically considered in assessment of lead risk . These data can be used to inform regulatory guidelines and soil Best Management Practices for gardeners working in lead-contaminated soils.

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