Arsenic and old lead found in the Big Easy

A team of UMR researchers found concentrations of leachable arsenic and lead above drinking water standards in sediment and soil samples collected from New Orleans’ parishes following Hurricane Katrina in 2005.


The team shares its findings in a recent article published in the journal Environmental Science &
Technology
.
The researchers also searched for evidence of pesticides, but those concentrations were generally in the nondetectable range.
“Levee breaches, precipitated by Hurricane Katrina and the associated storm surge, left sediments that now cover large sections of New Orleans and the peninsula,” explains Craig Adams, the John and Susan Mathes Chair of Environmental Engineering at UMR and director of the UMR Environmental Research Center for Emerging Contaminants.
The preliminary study analyzed 46 of the 238 samples the team gathered Oct. 6-18, 2005, in New Orleans and along Highway 23 on the Louisiana peninsula.
“The highest leachable concentrations of lead and arsenic in sediment were observed in the Broadmoor District in Orleans Parish,” Adams says. “These levels could potentially pose a health issue if significant exposure occurred.”
Adams says normal human contact with sediments – and the contaminants therein – can come through many exposure routes, ranging from children playing in their yards, participation in sports like football and baseball, and gardening activities.
“The massive cleanup efforts in New Orleans also continue to expose workers and citizens to sediments deposited in houses, yards and streets,” Adams says. “Inhalation of airborne particulates and dust can be a significant exposure route to toxins in sediment particles.”

Around the Puck

Generous partners complete ACML fundraising

Thanks to an investment from the University of Missouri System, major gifts from industry partners and alumni support, S&T will break ground on the Advanced Construction and Materials Laboratory (ACML) on Oct. 12, during Homecoming weekend.

[Read More...]

Alumni help with sesquicentennial planning

Seven alumni, including three Miner Alumni Association board members, have been named to Missouri S&T’s sesquicentennial advisory committee. The group is made up of graduates, students, faculty, staff and community members who are involved in planning the university’s upcoming 150th anniversary celebration.

[Read More...]

Using big data to reduce childbirth risks

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, complications during pregnancy or childbirth affect more than 50,000 women annually, and about 700 of them die every year. Steve Corns, associate professor of engineering management and systems engineering, is working with researchers from Phelps County Regional Medical Center through the Ozarks Biomedical Initiative to reduce […]

[Read More...]

Bogan solves Benton mural mystery

Missouri State Capitol muralist Thomas Hart Benton wrote in his memoir about being called into then-Gov. Guy Park’s office and told that a prominent St. Louis politician objected to Benton’s portrayal of black people, especially depictions of slavery.

[Read More...]

Breaking bias

According to Jessica Cundiff, assistant professor of psychological science at S&T, women who consider careers in the physical sciences, technology, engineering and math (STEM) fields are deterred by stereotypes that impose barriers on the recruitment, retention and advancement of women in STEM.

[Read More...]