John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.

Bioaccessibility tests accurately estimate bioavailability of lead to quail

Hazards of soil‐borne Pb to wild birds may be more accurately quantified if the bioavailability of that Pb is known. To better understand the bioavailability of Pb to birds, we measured blood Pb concentrations in Japanese quail (Coturnix japonica) fed diets containing Pb‐contaminated soils. Relative bioavailabilities were expressed by comparison with blood Pb concentrations in quail fed a Pb acetate reference diet. Diets containing soil from five Pb‐contaminated Superfund sites had relative bioavailabilities from 33%‐63%, with a mean of about 50%. Treatment of two of the soils with phosphorus significantly reduced the bioavailability of Pb. Bioaccessibility of Pb in the test soils was then measured in six in vitro tests and regressed on bioavailability. They were: the “Relative Bioavailability Leaching Procedure” (RBALP) at pH 1.5, the same test conducted at pH 2.5, the “Ohio State University In vitro Gastrointestinal” method (OSU IVG), the “Urban Soil Bioaccessible Lead Test”, the modified “Physiologically Based Extraction Test” and the “Waterfowl Physiologically Based Extraction Test.” All regressions had positive slopes. Based on criteria of slope and coefficient of determination, the RBALP pH 2.5 and OSU IVG tests performed very well. Speciation by X‐ray absorption spectroscopy demonstrated that, on average, most of the Pb in the sampled soils was sorbed to minerals (30%), bound to organic matter (24%), or present as Pb sulfate (18%). Additional Pb was associated with P (chloropyromorphite, hydroxypyromorphite and tertiary Pb phosphate), and with Pb carbonates, leadhillite (a lead sulfate carbonate hydroxide), and Pb sulfide. The formation of chloropyromorphite reduced the bioavailability of Pb and the amendment of Pb‐contaminated soils with P may be a thermodynamically favored means to sequester Pb. This article is protected by copyright. All rights reserved

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