A PARTICIPATORY APPROACH TO TRACING LEGACY METALS TO EVALUATE EVOLVING PUBLIC HEALTH RISKS FROM TAR CREEK SUPERFUND SITE, OKLAHOMA
We will focus on size fractionating spent mushroom compost that is produced in the watershed and used for gardening and floodplain soil remediation and floodplain soil transects from residential, agricultural, and the Tar Creek Superfund site. We will then analyze samples using non destructive X-ray fluorescence methods to determine metal concentrations at various sizes. This data will identify the geomobile materials in the watershed that might be linked with exposure pathways. Floodplain soils will be analyzed for lead isotopes to determine the origins of Pb and to determine if any geochemical transformations occur during transport. Biological analysis of compost will include 16s RNA microbiome sequencing to determine if a unique biogeochemical fingerprint of this facility can be used to trace transport. We will also analyze white button mushrooms from the facility and plants in the floodplains for As, Pb, and Cd concentrations, to determine metal bioavailability.
Simultaneously generating research questions while considering immediate impact with community members resulted in serendipitous science. Only through a participatory approach could we learn the questions and processes that really matter in the system.