Thermal waters near the city of Viterbo (Central Italy) are known to show high As contents (up to 600 µg/l). Travertine is precipitated by these waters, forming extended plateau. In this study, we determine the As content, speciation and bioaccessibility in soil and travertine samples collected near a recreational area highly frequented by local inhabitants and tourists to investigate the risk of As exposure through accidental ingestion of soil particles. (Pseudo)total contents in the studied soils range from 17 to 528 mg/kg, being higher in soil developed on a travertine substrate (197 ± 127 mg/kg) than on volcanic rocks (37 ± 13 mg/kg). In travertines, most As is bound to the carbonatic fraction, whereas in soil the semimetal is mostly associated with the oxide and residual fractions. Accordingly, bioaccessibility (defined here by the simplified bioaccessibility extraction test, SBET; Oomen et al., 2002.) is maximum (up to 139 mg/kg) for soil developed on a travertine substrate, indicating a control of calcite dissolution on As bioaccessibility. On the other hand, risk analysis suggests a moderate carcinogenic risk associated with accidental soil ingestion, while dermal contact is negligible. By contrast, ingestion of thermal water implies a higher carcinogenic and systemic health risk.

Bioaccessible arsenic in soil of thermal areas of Viterbo, Central Italy: implications for human health risk

Lattanzi P.;Medas D.;
2021-01-01

Abstract

Thermal waters near the city of Viterbo (Central Italy) are known to show high As contents (up to 600 µg/l). Travertine is precipitated by these waters, forming extended plateau. In this study, we determine the As content, speciation and bioaccessibility in soil and travertine samples collected near a recreational area highly frequented by local inhabitants and tourists to investigate the risk of As exposure through accidental ingestion of soil particles. (Pseudo)total contents in the studied soils range from 17 to 528 mg/kg, being higher in soil developed on a travertine substrate (197 ± 127 mg/kg) than on volcanic rocks (37 ± 13 mg/kg). In travertines, most As is bound to the carbonatic fraction, whereas in soil the semimetal is mostly associated with the oxide and residual fractions. Accordingly, bioaccessibility (defined here by the simplified bioaccessibility extraction test, SBET; Oomen et al., 2002.) is maximum (up to 139 mg/kg) for soil developed on a travertine substrate, indicating a control of calcite dissolution on As bioaccessibility. On the other hand, risk analysis suggests a moderate carcinogenic risk associated with accidental soil ingestion, while dermal contact is negligible. By contrast, ingestion of thermal water implies a higher carcinogenic and systemic health risk.
arsenic; bioaccessibility; calcite; geogenic; soil ingestions; thermal springs
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: https://hdl.handle.net/11584/314786
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