Lead Pollution: Records in Southern California Coastal Sediments

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Science  10 Aug 1973:
Vol. 181, Issue 4099, pp. 551-552
DOI: 10.1126/science.181.4099.551


The present anthropogenic lead fluxes into sediments from the Santa Monica, San Pedro, and Santa Barbara basins of Southern California are, respectively, 0.9, 1.7, and 2.1 micrograms of lead per square centimeter of sea bottom per year; the natural (prepollution) rates for these three basins were, respectively, 0.24, 0.26, and 1.0 microgram of lead per square centimeter per year. Studies of isotopic composition indicate that lead pollutants in coastal sediments are derived mainly from the combustion of lead additives in gasoline.