Express assessment of soil pollution


Soil pollution by heavy metals is one of the most common environmental consequences of urbanization and industrialization with a strong negative effect on human health. High heterogeneity of urban soils requires for a detailed analysis and mapping of soil pollution, which is too expensive with the conventional methods of soil chemical analysis (e.g., AAS or ICP). Express technology to assess soil pollution is based on the portable X-ray fluorescence analyzer, adapted to particular soil conditions (e.g., texture, moisture and porosity). A short exposition time (1-2 minutes) and low costs allows making thousands of observations and mapping soil multiple pollutions on site. Soil pollution maps are the core for environmental impact assessment and health risk assessment.

Implementation sphere

  • Soil surveys and mapping soil pollution on site, including estimating multiple pollution indexes
  • Estimating health risks associated with soil pollution
  • Monitoring soil quality and soil health on site
  • Estimating ecosystem services and disservices of polluted areas
  • Data support for soil remediation plans
  • Express monitoring food quality

Implementation cases

  • Monitoring soil quality in Moscow megapolis
  • Estimating soil and food pollution in community gardens of New York City
  • Mapping soil pollution of the industrial barren in Subarctic (Kola Peninsula)

To read about

Remediation of an urban garden with elevated levels of soil contamination

Science of The Total Environment, Volume 72220, June 2020, Article 137965
Anna A. Paltseva, Zhongqi Cheng, Sara Perl Egendorf, Peter M. Groffman