Northeastern Section - 43rd Annual Meeting (27-29 March 2008)
Paper No. 6-8
Presentation Time: 8:00 AM-12:00 PM

CONTAMINATION OF RIVER SEDIMENTS AND SOILS IN KEENE, NH, FROM LEAD PAINT

ALLEN, Timothy, Geology, Keene State College, Keene, NH 03435-2001, tallen@keene.edu

Recently the Keene State College (KSC) Child Development Center playground was found to be contaminated with chips of lead paint. Lead exposure is known to cause severe health effects in children. My students and I set out to determine how widespread this problem is across the rest of the campus. We collected samples of paint chips and soils from around the perimeter of selected buildings built prior to the banning of lead paint. Paint chips were qualitatively scanned for the presence of lead using X-ray fluorescence spectrometry (XRF). Soil samples were dried, pulverized and pressed into powder pellets, which were then quantitatively analyzed for total lead concentration by XRF. All of the paint chip samples scanned had lead present. Soil lead concentrations range from 109 mg/kg to 22,486 mg/kg. Most of the buildings we sampled have soil lead levels well above the US-EPA's recommended action levels of 400 mg/kg for play areas, and 1200 mg/kg for non-play areas.

In addition, previous research had show sediments of the Ashuelot River running through the KSC campus to be contaminated with lead, well above sediment quality guidelines. Areas upstream on the river are known to be contaminated with industrial wastes, but it is not clear that this is the source of the lead that we have observed. As part of the above study, we collected paint chips from bridges spanning the river over the contaminated areas, and like the paint on the buildings, these were also found to be rich in lead.

Northeastern Section - 43rd Annual Meeting (27-29 March 2008)
General Information for this Meeting
Session No. 6--Booth# 15
Environmental Geoscience (Posters)
Hyatt Regency Buffalo: Grand Ballroom C
8:00 AM-12:00 PM, Thursday, 27 March 2008

Geological Society of America Abstracts with Programs, Vol. 40, No. 2, p. 8

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