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Metal contamination of urban soils in the vicinity of a municipal waste incinerator: one source among many.

Rimmer, David L.; Vizard, Catherine G.; Pless-Mulloli, Tanja; Singleton, Ian; Air, Vivienne S.; Keatinge, Zoe A.F.


David L. Rimmer

Catherine G. Vizard

Tanja Pless-Mulloli

Vivienne S. Air

Zoe A.F. Keatinge


Concern from local residents about possible contamination with metals and PCDD/F (dioxins and furans) from fugitive and stack emissions from the Byker municipal solid waste incinerator in Newcastle upon Tyne led the City Council to initiate a study of the concentration of these pollutants in soils. We report here the results for the metals and arsenic. Soils were sampled at distances up to 2.25 km from the incinerator stack. The intensity of sampling in concentric zones was four times greater in the northeast (down-wind) direction, and twice as great in the northwest and southeast directions, compared to the southwest (up-wind) direction. In total 163 samples were collected and analyzed for total As, Cd, Cr, Cu, Hg, Ni, Pb, and Zn. Concentrations were generally elevated above background levels, but were typical of those found in other urban areas. For As, Cd, Cu, Hg, Pb, and Zn, contamination hotspots were identified. These were spread throughout the sampling area, and there was no evidence of greater concentrations down-wind of the incinerator compared to other directions, nor of any trend in concentration at increasing distance from the incinerator. We concluded that metal contamination resulting from the incinerator could not be detected in an environment with generally elevated concentrations. Potential sources for many of the hotspots of contamination were identified in a survey of historic land use based on maps of the locality dating back to 1856. Detailed investigations of particular areas with serious contamination will now be undertaken by the local authorities using the {CLEA} (Contaminated Land Exposure Assessment) model.


Rimmer, D. L., Vizard, C. G., Pless-Mulloli, T., Singleton, I., Air, V. S., & Keatinge, Z. A. (2006). Metal contamination of urban soils in the vicinity of a municipal waste incinerator: one source among many. Science of the Total Environment, 356(1-3), 207-216.

Journal Article Type Article
Online Publication Date Jun 1, 2005
Publication Date 2006-03
Deposit Date Jul 27, 2016
Journal Science of The Total Environment
Print ISSN 0048-9697
Electronic ISSN 1879-1026
Publisher Elsevier
Peer Reviewed Peer Reviewed
Volume 356
Issue 1-3
Pages 207-216
Keywords Metal, contamination, urban soils,
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