Correlation analysis as a tool to investigate the bioaccessibility of nickel, vanadium and zinc in Northern Ireland soils

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Abstract

Correlation analyses were conducted on nickel (Ni), vanadium (V) and zinc (Zn) oral bioaccessible fractions (BAFs) and selected geochemistry parameters to identify specific controls exerted over trace element bioaccessibility. BAFs were determined by previous research using the unified BARGE method. Total trace element concentrations and soil geochemical parameters were analysed as part of the Geological Survey of Northern Ireland Tellus Project. Correlation analysis included Ni, V and Zn BAFs against their total concentrations, pH, estimated soil organic carbon (SOC) and a further eight element oxides. BAF data were divided into three separate generic bedrock classifications of basalt, lithic arenite and mudstone prior to analysis, resulting in an increase in average correlation coefficients between BAFs and geochemical parameters. Sulphur trioxide and SOC, spatially correlated with upland peat soils, exhibited significant positive correlations with all BAFs in gastric and gastro-intestinal digestion phases, with such effects being strongest in the lithic arenite bedrock group. Significant negative relationships with bioaccessible Ni, V and Zn and their associated total concentrations were observed for the basalt group. Major element oxides were associated with reduced oral trace element bioaccessibility, with Al2O3 resulting in the highest number of significant negative correlations followed by Fe2O3. spatial mapping showed that metal oxides were present at reduced levels in peat soils. The findings illustrate how specific geology and soil geochemistry exert controls over trace element bioaccessibility, with soil chemical factors having a stronger influence on BAF results than relative geogenic abundance. In general, higher Ni, V and Zn bioaccessibility is expected in peat soil types.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)569-584
Number of pages16
JournalEnvironmental Geochemistry and Health
Volume35
Issue number5
Early online date22 Jun 2013
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Oct 2013

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