Combined Analysis of Results on Single and Multiple Contacts: Potting Soil, Sand and Clay Transfers to Cloth for the Estimate of Soil Adherence to Human Skin

Alesia C. Ferguson, Zoran Bursac, Wayne Johnson


Humans can be exposed to contaminated soil and household dust via contact with environmental surfaces. A mechanical device was used to measure the transfer of soils from one surface to the other to provide estimates of adherence factors (mg/cm2) used in estimates of human exposure to contaminants found in soils/household dust. This paper presents the analysis and comparison for thetransfer of clay, potting soil, and sand from aluminum to cloth samples for single and multiple contacts under varying environmental and contact time and pressure conditions. Adherence for clay was over 73 times that of sand and over 114 times that of potting soil. Clay particles with their softer texture and finer composition compared to potting soil and sand, are more likely to compress and adhere to surfaces producing higher transfers. Contact time and temperature had no effect, however: contact pressure, soil loading on the aluminum surface, and environmental humidity did have an effect on soil transfer.

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Environment and Natural Resources Research   ISSN 1927-0488 (Print)   ISSN 1927-0496 (Online)   Email:

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