Johnson, A.H.M.; Lalor, Gerald C.; Preston, John; Robotham, H.; Thompson, C.; Vutchkov, Mitko K.
Author Affiliation, Ana.
Centre for Nuclear Sciences
Heavy metals in Jamaican surface soils
Environmental Geochemistry and Health
Date of Publication
A regional survey of Jamaican surface soils has been conducted in which more than 200 samples were collected at a sample density of 1 per 64 km2 across the island and analysed for total concentrations of 31 elements by instrumental neutron activation analysis (INAA), energy dispersive x-ray fluorescence (EDXRF) analysis and atomic absorption spectrophotometry (AAS). The aim of the survey was to begin the construction of a high-precision geochemical database to provide information on elemental levels in soils for application to environmental studies, agriculture, and human and animal health. Results on the regional scale are presented for As, Cd, Cu, Hg and Pb. Although Jamaican surface soils are enriched in several heavy metals compared with world soil means and crustal abundances, lead is of particular importance at this stage because of its occurence in residential areas. Except for Cu, the distribution maps of these elements are highly correlated with bauxite which in Jamaica is associated with white limestone geology and residual terra rossa soils.....