Bioaccessibility of lead in sand intended for playground sandboxes in Slovenia: a preliminary study
Slovene press has recently expressed concern for the health of children who ingest playground sand contaminated with lead. However, current assessments may be overestimating the health risk, as they assume that human body absorbs the whole amount of a contaminant. The aim of our study was to see how much lead in sand intended for playground sandboxes in Slovenia really is absorbed and what health risk it may present. To do that, we ran bioaccessibility tests to simulate metabolism and see how digestion affects lead levels. Our results show low bioaccessibility of lead from sand (0.01-36.84 %). Taking into account lead bioaccessibility, we ran several scenarios of sand ingestion in children and established that in general the risk is negligible, except for pica behaviour with extremely high (20 g) ingestion of sand with highly mobilised lead (2.69 µg g-1). Further research should assess real-life exposure to lead from playground sand in children and perhaps update these preliminary bioaccessibility data.