This paper presents lead (Pb) isotope data from samples of farm livestock raised in three areas of Britain that have elevated natural Pb levels: Central Wales, the Mendips and the Derbyshire Peak District. This study highlights three important observations; that the Pb found in modern British meat from these three areas is geogenic and shows no clear evidence of modern tetraethyl anthropogenic Pb contribution; that the generally excellent match between the biological samples and the ore field data, particularly for the Mendip and Welsh data, suggests that this technique might be used to provenance biological products to specific ore sites, under favourable conditions; and that modern systems reflect the same process of biosphere averaging that is analogous to cultural focusing in human archaeological studies that is the process of biological averaging leading to an homogenised isotope signature with increasing Pb concentration.
Bibliographical noteDate of Acceptance: 27/07/2015
- Cultural focusing
Evans, J. A., Pashley, V., Richards, G., Brereton, N., & Knowles, T. (2015). Geogenic lead isotope signatures from meat products in Great Britain: Potential for use in food authentication and supply chain traceability. Science of The Total Environment, 537, 447-452. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.scitotenv.2015.07.133