Topsoil and urban dust pollution and toxicity in Taranto (southern Italy) industrial area and in a residential district


TRİFUOGGİ M., PAGANO G., ORAL R. , GRAVİNA M., TOSCANESI M., MOZZİLLO M., ...More

ENVIRONMENTAL MONITORING AND ASSESSMENT, vol.191, no.1, 2019 (Journal Indexed in SCI) identifier identifier identifier

  • Publication Type: Article / Article
  • Volume: 191 Issue: 1
  • Publication Date: 2019
  • Doi Number: 10.1007/s10661-018-7164-7
  • Title of Journal : ENVIRONMENTAL MONITORING AND ASSESSMENT

Abstract

Adverse environmental conditions in the Taranto area (southern Italy) were investigated in studies of air, marine sediment, and human health. The present study aimed at providing unprecedented information on soil pollution and toxicity in a set of sites around recognized pollution sources in the Taranto area, since previous studies were focused on marine or air pollution, or on human health effects. The investigated area included a steel foundry and a power plant, as well as some sites located in an adjacent neighborhood. Surface soil samples and urban dust were collected and submitted to inorganic and organic analyses and tested for toxicity in two invertebrate bioassay models; a sea urchin (Sphaerechinus granularis) and an annelid (Caenorhabditis elegans). Inorganic analysis was carried out using ICP-MS for elemental composition for a total of 34 elements, whose levels were evaluated as a function of bioassay data analyzed through principal component analysis (PCA). Other analyses included asbestos search by powder X-ray diffraction (PXRD) and organic analysis for polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs) and aliphatic compounds (C10-C40). Toxicity bioassays were carried out on a sea urchin (Sphaerechinus granularis), and an annelid (Caenorhabditis elegans). Sea urchin bioassays evaluated effects of topsoil or street dust sample exposures (0.1 to 0.5% dry wt/vol) on developing embryos and on sperm, and scored as (a) % developmental defects, (b) inhibition of fertilization success and offspring damage, and (c) frequencies of mitotic aberrations. C. elegans mortality assay displayed significant toxicity associated with soil samples. The overall effects of samples showed very high toxicity at four out of nine sites. These effects were consistent with the highest levels measured for metals and PAHs. Further studies of health effects related to dust exposures in residential areas are warranted.graphic