Lead stabilization by phosphate amendments in soil impacted by paint residue. Academic Article uri icon


  • The addition of phosphate was evaluated for contaminant stabilization in soils impacted by lead paint residue. Soils sampled from 15 highway bridge sites in Indiana were screened based on residual lead concentrations from paint contamination. Two appropriate bridge sites were identified in Tippecanoe County, Indiana. Soluble phosphate was added to the soil at a mole ratio of 3:1 P:Pb. The efficacy of phosphate treatment was evaluated by a physiologically based extraction test (PBET), uptake of lead by sunflowers, and leaching of lead from soil columns. Sunflowers were established on both field sites, and the mean Pb concentration in the above-ground biomass indicated that the rate of uptake was similar to plants growing in uncontaminated soil. The second bioavailability assessment was the physiologically based extraction test, designed to evaluate heavy metal availability during ingestion. After 1 year at both sites, the addition of phosphate significantly reduced the concentrations of lead extracted by PBET, indicating that the lead in the amended soils had lower bioavailability than in the unamended soils. In the column study, the contaminated soil produced the highest mass of leached Pb, and the addition of P reduced the mass of Pb in the leachate to similar levels found in the uncontaminated soil. Overall, the addition of soluble phosphate to these soils appears to be an effective approach for immobilizing Pb and reducing the associated bio-accessibility.

published proceedings

  • J Environ Sci Health A Tox Hazard Subst Environ Eng

author list (cited authors)

  • Schwab, A. P., Lewis, K., & Banks, M. K.

citation count

  • 10

complete list of authors

  • Schwab, AP||Lewis, K||Banks, MK

publication date

  • March 2006