Author(s): Arnason JG, Fletcher BA
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Abstract Sediments of the Patroon Creek watershed (33 km(2)) are known to contain significant concentrations of heavy metals derived from two industrial sites within the watershed. Mercury Refining, Inc (Mereco) has stored and recycled Hg from 1955 to the present day, and National Lead Industries (NLI) manufactured aircraft components containing Cd, Pb, and U from 1958 to 1984. Here we present the first record of heavy metal deposition as preserved in a 3-m long sediment core collected in 1999 from Patroon Reservoir, a small water body (1.3 ha) downstream of the industrial sites. Bulk sediment samples were collected from the core at 0.05-m intervals and analyzed for total Cd, Pb, and U by ICP-MS and total Hg by CVAAS. Total Hg increases from less than 1 mg kg(-1) (dw) below 1.68 m, to a maximum of 6.2 mg kg(-1) at 0.80 m, and then declines to the sediment-water interface. Total Cd, Pb, and U concentrations increase abruptly above 1.68 m to maximum values of 25, 320, and 3600 mg kg(-1) (dw), respectively, and then decline gradually upwards. By correlating metal profiles with industrial history, we conclude that the 1.68 m horizon was deposited no earlier than 1958, the beginning of aircraft component manufacturing at NLI. The average, apparent sedimentation rate within the reservoir has a minimum value of approximately 0.04 m year(-1) for the 41-year period from 1958 to 1999. In the interval 0--1.68 m, average concentrations of Cd, Hg, Pb, and U are 1.69, 1.50, 461, and 13 mg kg(-1), respectively. These levels are comparable with other lake, reservoir and stream sediments that have been moderately to severely impacted by industrial pollution and are above levels expected to be detrimental to aquatic organisms.
This article was published in Environ Pollut
and referenced in Journal of Infectious Diseases & Therapy