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Katrina floodwaters not as toxic to humans as previously thought, study says

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While serious toxicity to human life was largely avoided, the floodwater may pose a chemical risk to aquatic life in the area, Pardue says. He believes that low oxygen levels in the water that is being pumped back into Lake Pontchartrain could result in fish kills. He also says that heavy metals being discharged into the lake, particularly copper and zinc, can be toxic to fish and other marine life and may bioaccumulate and contaminate seafood collected from the region. More studies are needed to assess the long-term impact of the flood on aquatic life, Pardue says.

Funding for this study was provided by the Louisiana Water Resources Research Institute and the LSU Center for the Study of Public Health Impacts of Hurricanes.

The American Chemical Society is a nonprofit organization, chartered by the U.S. Congress, with a multidisciplinary membership of more than 158,000 chemists and chemical engineers. It publishes numerous scientific journals and databases, convenes major research conferences and provides educational, science policy and career programs in chemistry. Its main offices are in Washington, D.C., and Columbus, Ohio.


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Source:American Chemical Society


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