Navigation Links
Lead levels in disturbed soil post-Katrina unsafe

Unsafe levels of lead in soil and sediments left behind in New Orleans following Hurricane Katrina could pose a heightened health threat to returning residents, especially children, says a study.//

In some soil samples collected from the area, lead levels were as much as two-thirds higher than what the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency considers safe, according to researchers at Texas Tech University.

Lead exposure is a particular health concern among children because it can impair the nervous system and cause developmental problems.

The study has been published in the American Chemical Society's journal Environmental Science & Technology (ES&T).

Others have previously reported high concentrations of lead in the city's soil, but lead generally remains embedded in the soil and does not easily come in contact with people unless disturbed, says study leader Steven M. Presley, Ph.D., an environmental toxicologist at Texas Tech in Lubbock.

Presley believes severe flooding may have loosened large amounts of embedded lead and led to its deposition on soil surfaces, making exposure to lead particles more likely, either through skin contact or the inhalation of aerosolized particles.

In addition to lead, scientists also found concentrations of aldrin (an insecticide), arsenic, and seven semi-volatile organic compounds that exceeded EPA Region VI safe levels and are on EPA's list of known or suspected human carcinogens. In all, the researchers analyzed the sediment and soil samples for 26 metals and more than 90 semi-volatile compounds.

In addition to sediment and soil samples, the researchers also tested water and animal tissues following the flood. Other contaminants found among samples include high levels of iron, several banned pesticides and pathogenic bacteria, but the researchers say that concentrations of most of these contaminants were unlikely to pose an immediate human health threat.
< br> The peer-reviewed study, which represents one of the most detailed environmental sampling efforts to date following the flooding caused by Katrina, will appear in the Jan. 15 issue of ES&T.

For the current study, the research team obtained sediment, soil, water and animal tissue samples over a three-day period (Sept. 16-18) from across a broad cross-section of the city 18 days after the hurricane struck and after most of the water had been pumped from the city. The sampling included 14 different sites in the New Orleans area and focused mainly on the sediment and soil.

"The purpose of this study is to gather more extensive samples and establish baseline data for evaluation of the long-term environmental impact of the storm," says Presley. "It may take years before we really know the full extent of the human health risks and wildlife impact from the Katrina contaminants, but this is an important step."

The researcher cautions that this study alone won't answer the much-debated question of whether it is safe to return to the area. Nonetheless, people should be made aware of the contaminants present and take appropriate cleanup measures to minimize the potential health risks.

Floodwater samples taken at some sites showed extremely high levels of bacteria, particularly Aeromonas hydrophila, a little known human pathogen that can cause diarrhea and wound infections. This is the first time that Aeromonas has been detected in the Katrina floodwaters, Presley says.

Animal tissues sampled, including dead snakes and an alligator, also contained multiple metals and pesticides, but these levels were within an expected range, the researchers say. Of the 47 mosquito specimens collected in the study area, all tested negative for West Nile Virus and St. Louis Encephalitis. However, virus-transmitting mosquito populations might increase in the spring and summer.

The researchers are planning to expand their samplin g study to include additional cross-sections of the city, Presley says. The Institute of Environmental and Human Health at Texas Tech University and the Patent & Trademark Institute of America provided funding for this study.

The American Chemical Society is a non-profit organization with a multidisciplinary membership. It publishes numerous scientific journals and databases, convenes major research conferences and provides educational, science policy and career programs in chemistry.


Related medicine news :

1. Low testosterone levels lead to eating disorders
2. Genetics and cholesterol levels
3. Decrease in testosterone levels lead to Alzheimers
4. Breast cancer risk doubles by high sex hormone levels
5. High iron levels may cause Cardiovascular Disease in women
6. Testing for blood sugar levels made easier
7. Children exposed to smoke show decreased levels of Vitamin C
8. Elevated homocysteine levels linked to congestive heart failure risk
9. Elevated LDL levels in Childhood could be Predictors of Heart Disease
10. Tobacco smoke increases the levels of Cox 2.
11. More soy benefits on blood glucose levels, and cholesterol
Post Your Comments:

(Date:11/29/2015)... Clarkston, Metamora, Michigan (PRWEB) , ... ... ... Excellence is once again accredited by the American Institute of Ultrasound in ... that allows practices to demonstrate that they meet or exceed nationally recognized ...
(Date:11/29/2015)... ... 29, 2015 , ... NewsWatch featured X-wing as part of its monthly Tech ... a technology expert and special reporter for NewsWatch, conducted the review and shared with ... It’s the future because flying cars are about to become a reality. Where’s the ...
(Date:11/29/2015)... ... ... Doctors who missed a case of mesothelioma in a 70-year-old Japanese truck driver ... a diagnosis, especially in people exposed to asbestos. Surviving Mesothelioma has just posted details ... , Researchers at Gifu Prefectural Tajimi Hospital in Japan say the patient complained ...
(Date:11/29/2015)... ... November 29, 2015 , ... Key Housing, a top-rated ... announce their December, 2015, featured apartment community: Epic. In showcasing this featured apartment community ... the tight Bay Area rental market to efficiently find housing suitable to their needs ...
(Date:11/28/2015)... ... ... Trying to relax on a couch can actually be uncomfortable, so an ... due to personal experience with a bad back," he said. , This easy-to-use, versatile ... as increases support. It also makes it easier to eat, do other activities and ...
Breaking Medicine News(10 mins):
(Date:11/26/2015)... , 26 november 2015 AAIPharma ... de geplande investering aan van ten minste ... laboratoria en het mondiale hoofdkantoor in ... zal resulteren in extra kantoorruimte en extra ... de groeiende behoeften van de farmaceutische en ...
(Date:11/26/2015)... , November 26, 2015 ... potential to use SyMRI to find optimal contrast weighting of ... tumor metastases, and has signed a research agreement with SyntheticMR ... the hospital. Using SyMRI, it is possible to generate multiple ... settings after the patient has left, thus making it possible ...
(Date:11/26/2015)... Research and Markets ( ) ... Future Horizons and Growth Strategies in the Japanese ... Segment Forecasts, Competitive Intelligence, Emerging Opportunities" report ... --> This new 247-page report ... drug monitoring market, including emerging tests, technologies, instrumentation, ...
Breaking Medicine Technology: