Lead (Pb) is a harmful element whose presence threatens the well-being of living organisms and their environments. There are higher concentrations and an increased risk of Pb exposure in areas that provide fewer natural pathways for Pb to accumulate into. In urban areas, the soil is one of the most common and available environmental sinks for Pb accumulation. This study examines the total soil Pb concentrations in relation to land-use types and average daily traffic volumes (cars/day) in each census tract in the Uptown Community Area of Chicago. This study provides insight into how land use and traffic volume may affect total soil Pb. This study hypothesizes that total soil Pb concentrations will be higher in areas with more non-residential land use, including commercial and industrial land use, and that total soil Pb concentrations will be higher in areas with higher average daily traffic volumes.
Soil samples were collected with the help of DePaul University citizen scientists from five randomly generated locations in the parkways of each census tract in the Uptown Community Area on the North side of Chicago. Soil Pb concentrations of each sample were determined using EPA Method 3050B acid-digestion method.
The average daily traffic volumes (obtained from the City of Chicago and the Illinois Department of Transportation), the percentage of commercial and industrial land use (obtained from the Metropolitan Agency for Planning), and the average soil Pb concentration by census tract were mapped using ArcGIS Pro. There was no statistically significant difference in mean soil Pb concentrations between census tracts. There was no statistically significant effect of average daily traffic volumes or percentage of commercial and industrial land use on soil Pb concentration. A correlation test indicated that there is no significant correlation between the average daily traffic volumes and soil Pb concentration between census tracts but was suggestive of a moderate positive correlation between these variables. A correlation test between the percentage of commercial and industrial land use and soil Pb concentrations did not produce a statistically significant correlation but was suggestive of a moderate positive correlation between these variables.
Harris, Andreas 'Dre'
"The Influence of Vehicular Traffic and Land Use Typology on the Spatial Patterns and Concentrations of Soil Lead (Pb) in the Uptown Community Area of Chicago,"
DePaul Discoveries: Volume 12, Article 10.
Available at: https://via.library.depaul.edu/depaul-disc/vol12/iss1/10