Source contribution of lead in house dust from a lead mining waste superfund site

David A. Sterling, David L. Johnson, Ana Maria Murgueytio, R. Gregory Evans

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

10 Scopus citations


The relative contribution to household dust of lead particles from a mining waste superfund site and lead-based paint is investigated. Automated individual particle analysis (IPA) based on scanning electron microscopy (SEM) and X-ray energy spectroscopy (EDX) is used to develop a classification algorithm for determining lead particle source contribution in household dust vacuum bags. On a volume basis the proportion derived from the mining waste is found to be 26%, the proportion derived from a paint source is 16%, and the proportion from soil is 37%. In 15% of the lead particles identified a specific originating source could not be determined. Using a weighting method accounting for the lead concentration per particle rather than volume the contributions were similar mining waste and paint, 21% and 23%, respectively, but the soil contribution was reduced to 8%, and the source for 29% of the lead could not be identified. These results suggested that the contribution of waste piles to the lead present in household dust is at least as important a source as paint. There is evidence to suggest that a large percentage of lead in the soil also originated from the waste piles and the overall contribution, therefore, of the waste piles may be greater than the contribution from paint.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)359-373
Number of pages15
JournalJournal of Exposure Analysis and Environmental Epidemiology
Issue number3
StatePublished - Jul 1998


Dive into the research topics of 'Source contribution of lead in house dust from a lead mining waste superfund site'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this