Tracing changes in atmospheric sources of lead contamination using lead isotopic compositions in Australian red wine

Louise Jane Kristensen*, Mark Patrick Taylor, Andrew James Evans

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

19 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Air quality data detailing changes to atmospheric composition from Australia's leaded petrol consumption is spatially and temporally limited. In order to address this data gap, wine was investigated as a potential proxy for atmospheric lead conditions. Wine spanning sixty years was collected from two wine regions proximal to the South Australian capital city, Adelaide, and analysed for lead concentration and lead and strontium isotopic composition for source apportionment. Maximum wine lead concentrations (328 μg/L) occur prior to the lead-in-air monitoring in South Australia in the later 1970s. Wine lead concentrations mirror available lead-in-air measurements and show a declining trend reflecting parallel reductions in leaded petrol emissions. Lead from petrol dominated the lead in wine (206Pb/207Pb: 1.086; 208Pb/207Pb: 2.360) until the introduction of unleaded petrol, which resulted in a shift in the wine lead isotopic composition closer to vineyard soil (206Pb/207Pb: 1.137; 208Pb/207Pb: 2.421). Current mining activities or vinification processes appear to have no impact with recent wine samples containing less than 4 μg/L of lead. This study demonstrates wine can be used to chronicle changes in environmental lead emissions and is an effective proxy for atmospherically sourced depositions of lead in the absence of air quality data.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)40-47
Number of pages8
JournalChemosphere
Volume154
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jul 2016

Keywords

  • Atmospheric emissions
  • Lead monitoring
  • Leaded petrol
  • Mining
  • Strontium

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