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Residences with anomalous soil concentrations of dioxin-like compounds in two communities in Michigan, USA: A case study

Publication Abstract

Franzblau, A., A. Demond, T. Towey, P. Adriaens, S.C. Chang, W. Luksemburg, M. Maier, D. Garabrant, B. Gillespie, James M. Lepkowski, C.W. Chang, Q.X. Chen, and B.L. Hong. 2009. "Residences with anomalous soil concentrations of dioxin-like compounds in two communities in Michigan, USA: A case study." Chemosphere, 74(3): 395-403.

Most contamination of residential property soil with dioxin-like compounds Occurs as a result of proximity to industrial activity that produces Such compounds and, outside the industrially impacted zone, the soil concentrations are at background levels. However, as part of the University of Michigan Dioxin Exposure Study. residential properties in the lower peninsula of Michigan, USA, were identified that were located far enough from known sources of these compounds that the soil concentrations should have been at background levels and yet the toxic equivalent (TEQ) of some properties' soil was greater than 2.5 standard deviations above the mean background level. In the three cases presented here from Midland/Saginaw Counties, the anomalously high-TEQ values were primarily due to the presence of polychlorinated dibenzofurans. Based on interviews with the residents and a comparison of soil congener profiles, it was deduced that these values resulted from anthropogenic soil movement from historically contaminated areas. In the cases from Jackson/Calhoun Counties, the unusually high-TEQ values were primarily due to polychlorinated biphenyls. In the case profiled here, it appears that the soil became contaminated through sandblasting to remove paint from the swimming pool. This study identified two mechanisms for soil contamination outside zones of industrial impact; thus, all assumption of background levels of soil contamination Outside industrial zones may not be valid. (C) 2008 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

DOI:10.1016/j.chemosphere.2008.09.052 (Full Text)

Country of focus: United States.

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