Superfund Research Program
New Technologies for the Destructive Remediation of Halogenated Organics
Project Leader: Eric A. Betterton
Grant Number: P42ES004940
Funding Period: 2000-2010
Final Progress Reports
Year: 2009 2004
This year, work continued on the characterization of wind-blown dust originating from two mine tailings contaminated with arsenic, lead, and chromium.
Ongoing monitoring of aerosols confirms preliminary results and reveals new findings.
- High levels of arsenic continue to be observed routinely in 0.3-0.5 nm diameter particles, which can be readily inhaled and deposited in the human respiratory tract.
- High concentrations of chromium in the larger particles have been seen and may be due to wind-blown dust or other mechanical action.
- Dust-dispersion modeling work has begun to predict the distribution of particulates emanating from the smelter stack and using meteorological observations to drive the model. The goal of the simulation is to aid in source apportionment and to develop predictive tools to be used in risk assessment.
- Contributed to an EPA Region 9 Remedial Investigation Report for the Humboldt-Iron King Site. The Report integrates all site data into a conceptual site model, which is the foundation for understanding site conditions and developing cleanup options.
- High variability in concentration of many elements in collected particulates in all size distributions at this site (without an active smelter) is apparently dominated by wind-blown dust and human activity.
- The relatively high concentration of arsenic found in the very smallest particles and the gas phase might be related to acidic-reducing conditions in the soil. Laboratory work is underway to confirm this previously unknown source of gaseous arsenic.