The sedimentary record of environmental lead contamination at St. Louis, Missouri (USA) area smelters Article Received: 12 March 2004 Accepted: 03 September 2004 DOI:
Cite this article as: Vermillion, B., Brugam, R., Retzlaff, W. et al. J Paleolimnol (2005) 33: 189. doi:10.1007/s10933-004-4078-x Abstract
Southeastern Missouri has been a major Pb mining region since 1720 AD. Missouri mines produce a Pb ore that has a distinctive elevated
206Pb/ 207Pb isotopic ratio (>1.30) that is easily recognized in Pb-contaminated sediments. Five 210Pb dated sediment cores from Horseshoe Lake, Madison County, Illinois were examined to reconstruct Pb-contamination of the site from southeastern Missouri mines and from a local Pb smelter located adjacent to the lake. Pb concentrations increased in the cores from 5 ppm in the early 1800’s to approximately 350 ppm in the late 1940’s and 1950’s. Pb concentrations in recently deposited sediment range from 100 to 300 ppm depending on the location within the lake. Throughout the 1800’s and early 1900’s the 206Pb/ 207Pb ratios in the sediment cores increased indicating contamination from southeastern Missouri (mean = 1.243). After the local smelter began recycling lead-acid storage batteries in the 1950’s, the 206Pb/ 207Pb ratio declined (mean = 1.224) suggesting contamination of Horseshoe Lake with Pb from sources elsewhere around the world. The results of this study demonstrate how isotopic ratios of Pb can be used to reconstruct historical anthropogenic contamination. Keywords Pb isotopes Pb pollution Heavy metals Lake sediment Pb smelting References Anonymous 1882History of Madison W.R. Brink & Co County, Illinois 603 Google Scholar Appleby, P.G., Oldfield, F. 1978 The calculation of lead-210 dates assuming a constant rate of supply of unsupported 210Pb to the sediment Catena 5 1 8 Google Scholar Binford, M. 1990 Calculation and uncertainty analysis of 210Pb dates for PIRLA project lake sediment cores J. Paleolimnol. 3 253 268 Google Scholar Bosworth, C., Jr. 1982Granite City Waste Pile Has Officials in Quandary St. Louis Post-Dispatch St. Louis, MO Google Scholar Boyle, J.F., Rose, N.L., Bennion, H., Yang, H., Appleby, P.G. 1999 Environmental impacts in the Jianghan Plain: evidence from lake sediments Water Air Soil Poll. 112 21 40 Google Scholar Brännvall, M.-L., Bindler, R., Emteryd, I.R.O., Bartnicki, J., Billström, K. 1999 The medieval metal industry was the cradle of modern large-scale atmospheric lead pollution in Northern Europe Environ. Sci. Technol. 33 4391 4395 Google Scholar Brännvall, M.-L., Bindler, R., Emteryd, O., Renberg, I. 2001 Four thousand years of atmospheric lead pollution in Northern Europe: a summary from Swedish lake sediments J. Paleolimnol. 25 421 435 Google Scholar Brown, J.S. 1962 Ore leads and isotopes Econ. Geol. 57 673 720 Google Scholar Brugam, R.B., Bala, I., Martin, J., Vermillion, B., Retzlaff, W. 2003 The sedimentary record of environmental contamination at Horseshoe LakeMadison County, Illinois Trans. Ill. St. Acad. Sci. 96 205 218 Google Scholar Chow, T.J., Earl, J.L. 1970 Lead aerosols in the atmosphere: increasing concentrations Science 160 577 580 Google Scholar Colten, C.E. 1988Historical Assessment of Hazardous Waste Management In Madison and St. Claire Counties, Illinois, 1890–1980 Illinois State Museum Springfield Google Scholar Craig, J.R., Rimstidt, J.D., Bonnaffon, C.A., Collins, T.K., Scanlon, P.F. 1999 Surface Water Transport of Lead at a Shooting Range Environ. Contam. Technol. 63 312 319 Google Scholar Doe, B.R. 1970Lead Isotopes Springer Verlag New York Google Scholar
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