Chemical speciation and bioaccessibility of lead in surface soil and house dust, Lavrion urban area, Attiki, Hellas

Alecos Demetriades, Xiangdong Li, Michael H. Ramsey, Iain Thornton

Research output: Journal article publicationJournal articleAcademic researchpeer-review

35 Citations (Scopus)


In the Lavrion urban area study, Hellas, a five-step sequential extraction method was applied on samples of 'soil' (n = 224), affected by long-term mining and metallurgical activities, and house dust (n = 127), for the purpose of studying the potential bioaccessibility of lead and other metals to humans. In this paper, the Pb concentrations in soil and house dust samples are discussed, together with those in rocks and children's blood. Lead is mainly associated with the carbonate, Fe-Mn oxides and residual fractions in soil and house dust. Considering the very low pH of gastric fluids (1-3), a high amount of metals, present in soil (810-152,000 mg/kg Pb) and house dust (418-18,600 mg/kg Pb), could be potentially bioaccessible. Consequently, children in the neighbourhoods with a large amount of metallurgical processing wastes have high blood-Pb concentrations (5. 98-60. 49 μg/100 ml; median 17. 83 μg/100 ml; n = 235). It is concluded that the Lavrion urban and sub-urban environment is extremely hazardous to human health, and the Hellenic State authorities should urgently tackle this health-related hazard in order to improve the living conditions of local residents.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)529-552
Number of pages24
JournalEnvironmental Geochemistry and Health
Issue number6
Publication statusPublished - 1 Dec 2010


  • Bioaccessibility
  • Blood-Pb
  • Chemical speciation
  • Geochemical maps
  • Greece
  • Hellas
  • House dust
  • Lavrion
  • Lead
  • Soil

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Environmental Engineering
  • Environmental Chemistry
  • Water Science and Technology
  • General Environmental Science
  • Geochemistry and Petrology


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