Florida arsenic distribution index: Quantifying the distribution of past and present arsenic usage

Maya Scott-Richardson, Marilyn O’Hara Ruiz, Rebecca L. Smith

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Arsenic is an abundant, highly toxic element that is a global health concern due to damage from acute and chronic exposure and the potential for high local concentrations in heavily populated areas. In Florida, arsenic has been used heavily in agricultural, commercial, and industrial applications for decades. While studies have identified and quantified the contributions of arsenic to the state, there are fewer studies that have attempted to index to identify spatial distribution patterns. The aim of this study was to develop representative indices that would identify and estimate the distribution of arsenic from historic and present usage for the state of Florida at the county-level. Eight variables are summarized and categorized into two different types of arsenic indices that represent the arsenic distribution from natural occurrence and anthropogenic practices in Florida. The anthropogenic index had distributions scores that ranged from 0.20 to 1.60 with a mean of 0.61 (SD = 0.34). The natural index had distribution scores that ranged from 1.00 to 3.00 and a mean of 1.47 (SD = 0.43). Our finding noticed comparability between high arsenic distributions mainly occur in counties located in the northwestern and southwestern regions in both the anthropogenic and natural indices with diverse arsenic sources contributions.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number744
JournalInternational journal of environmental research and public health
Issue number5
StatePublished - Mar 1 2019


  • Agriculture
  • Anthropogenic sources
  • Arsenic
  • Environment
  • Florida
  • Geographic information systems
  • Indexing
  • Natural sources

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health
  • Health, Toxicology and Mutagenesis


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