Audrey E Pettifor UNCCH, Gillings School of Global Public Health, Epidemiology

Audrey E Pettifor

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Metal Concentrations in Sediments of the Northeast Cape Fear River, North Carolina

Stephen Skrabal

6/1/2014 - 11/30/2014

Sponsoring Organization:North Carolina Coastal Federation
Awarding Organization Is:University of North Carolina at Wilmington
Sponsor Type: Nonprofit Organization
Project Funding History: Principal Investigator Funding History:
6/10/2014: $ 13,080.006/10/2014: $ 0
Total: $ 13,080.00Total: $ 0

Stephen A Skrabal (Lead Principal Investigator)


The PI will engage in subcontracted work to perform total digestions of a suite of sediment samples previously collected from the Northeast Cape Fear River adjacent to the former Dixie Cement plant site, currently a site for a proposed new cement manufacturing and mining facility. The existing samples were collected and analyzed for reactive concentrations of a series of trace metals, and total concentrations of mercury and polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs) under an earlier subcontract. Results from that study were described in a report by Ralph N. Mead and Stephen A. Skrabal (Mead and Skrabal, 2013). One of the most significant findings of that study was that, although the concentrations of nearly all metals analyzed were at least several times lower in sediments than the USEPA sediment quality screening criteria (SQSC) effects values, some metals at some sites were close to the criteria even though the digestion method used in that study (1 M HCl leach for 2 hours at room temperature) dissolves only a portion of the sediment. It was speculated that metal concentrations at these sites may be exceedances of the USEPA criteria had the “near total” USEPA digestion procedure were used. The metals of biggest concern were arsenic, lead, and zinc. The present study would reanalyze the existing sediment samples using a “near total” digestion method similar to that established by the USEPA for a more accurate comparison of sediment metal concentrations to screening criteria.

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