During January 2006, soil and sediment samples from 75 sites in the New Orleans (LA, USA) area were collected and tested for 26 inorganic elements. The study design was intended to provide a spatial pattern of metal concentrations within the city following hurricanes Katrina and Rita. The sampling design included four transects that traversed the city in a north-south direction and three transects that traversed the city in an east-west direction. Contaminant concentrations were determined at multiple sites within each transect and compared to U.S. Environmental Protection Agency soil screening criteria pertaining to human health. Concentrations of Pb and As exceeded the criteria indiscriminately throughout the city. Of the 75 sites, 14 (19%) exceeded the soil screening criteria for Pb, and 73 (97%) exceeded the criteria for As. Forty-three of the 75 sites coincided with a previous sampling event in October 2005. Metal concentrations were evaluated for temporal comparisons using a pair sampled t test. Arsenic concentrations differed significantly over time, but Pb concentrations did not.
- Soil screening criteria