The overall project objective at the Iron King Mine Superfund site is to determine the level and potential risk associated with heavy metal exposure of the proximate population emanating from the site's tailings pile. To provide sufficient size-fractioned dust for multidiscipline research studies, a dust generator was built and is now being used to generate size-fractioned dust samples for toxicity investigations using in vitro cell culture and animal exposure experiments as well as studies on geochemical characterization and bioassay solubilization with simulated lung and gastric fluid extractants. The objective of this study is to provide a robust method for source identification by comparing the tailing sample produced by dust generator and that collected by MOUDI sampler. As and Pb concentrations of the PM10 fraction in the MOUDI sample were much lower than in tailing samples produced by the dust generator, indicating a dilution of Iron King tailing dust by dust from other sources. For source apportionment purposes, single element concentration method was used based on the assumption that the PM10 fraction comes from a background source plus the Iron King tailing source. The method's conclusion that nearly all arsenic and lead in the PM10 dust fraction originated from the tailings substantiates our previous Pb and Sr isotope study conclusion. As and Pb showed a similar mass fraction from Iron King for all sites suggesting that As and Pb have the same major emission source. Further validation of this simple source apportionment method is needed based on other elements and sites.
- Dust generator
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health
- Health(social science)