North-Central Section - 57th Annual Meeting - 2023

Paper No. 22-4
Presentation Time: 9:20 AM


GILLIS, Morgan1, GOKEY, Kailee1, STITLE, Landon1, CURTIS, Juliana1 and KREKELER, Mark2, (1)Department of Geology & Environmental Earth Science, Miami University, 250 S. Patterson Ave., Oxford, OH 45056, (2)Geology & Environmental Earth Sciences, Miami University Hamilton, Hamilton, OH 45011

The city of Hamilton, located in southwest Ohio, is a post-industrial city with several abandoned and vacant buildings present throughout the municipality. The recent revitalization of Hamilton has allowed for community-wide economic and infrastructural growth with many new businesses filling once vacant properties. With the revival of the community and ever-growing population of Hamilton, understanding the extent of potential environmental contamination within these vacant properties is crucial to continuing Hamilton’s vision of its resurgence as an investable community.

The Director of Planning for the City of Hamilton granted access to 237 Park Avenue, a vacant residential property on the west side of the city proximal to new construction. Four dust and four interior paint samples were collected from this property for a preliminary study of potential environmental contaminants. This study aims to serve as a basis for comparative study of both interior and exterior dust, paint, and soil samples from various vacant properties throughout Hamilton in order to better constrain the nature of interior and exterior derived sample material. Samples were analyzed at Miami University using a Scanning Electron Microscope (SEM) equipped with an energy dispersive spectrometer (EDS) and a backscatter detector (BSD). Qualitative results indicate that there are very small (~1 µm to 10 µm diameter) Pb-rich particles in the sampled house dust which could be respirable in accordance with the Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) particulate matter size fraction definition. Of the four dust samples collected, two contained Pb-bearing particles identifiable via SEM and EDS. Analysis of the interior paint sample indicates that Pb-based paint was utilized on interior walls. Other contaminants present within house dust include Zn-bearing particles and technogenic spherules which range in size and texture. Further research is necessary to fully quantify the extent of pollutant material identified at vacant properties in Hamilton. These initial results provide new constraints on the nature of particulate matter in vacant or abandoned properties in Hamilton and may serve as an analog for other regions in the Midwest.