Wednesday, November 15, 2006

Trace and Heavy Metals in Four Creeks Located in the Lower Tallapoosa Basin of Macon County, Alabama.

Edmund Azah, Ramble Ankumah, and Kyle Willian. Tuskegee Univ, Dept. of Agric. & Environ. Sciences, 305 Milbank Hall, Tuskegee, AL 36088

About 73 percent of the 2,628 total miles of navigable rivers assessed and monitored in Alabama are considered impaired. The biomonitoring data in the Third National Report on Human Exposure to Environmental Chemicals showed that the metal levels in Non-Hispanic blacks were higher than those of Mexican Americans and Non-Hispanic whites. These metal high levels have been attributed to consumption of fish resulting from recreational fishing.  The overall objective of this study is to determine the level of metal pollution in four selected streams in the lower Tallapoosa basin of Alabama. The specific objectives are to 1) determine total trace and heavy metals levels in the water, sediments and fish of the four streams, 2) determine the level of total extractable metals, 3) speciate the metal levels in these three compartments, and 4) determine if levels are associated with land use. The metal levels in Choctafaula, Uphapee, Calebee, and Cubahatchee streams will be determined using Inductively Coupled Plasma- mass spectroscopy (ICP-MS). The water and fish samples will be digested using microwave and the sediment subjected to a five step sequential extraction developed by Tessier. Preliminary analysis show low to moderate levels of Fe (5.2-33.7 ppb), Al (1.77- 78.5 ppb), Ba (2.8 -25.4ppb), and Zn (1.69 -18.2 ppb) in the stream. Other metals such as As, Cr, Cd, and Pb were below detectable limit of the instrument