Wildlife as Biosamplers: Contaminants in Hair of Elk Harvested Near the Anaconda Smelter SiteVolume 18, No. 1-4, 2012 • Manuscript
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Gillespie, Karen L., Peterson, Holly G., Clark, Casey M., Black, Jennifer S.
Ecology, Environmental science, Montana, elk, wildlife management, Montana Tech of the University of Montana, Cervus elaphus, Biomonitoring, Natural resource management, arsenic, anaconda smelter stack, bioindicators, hair, hair samples, pollution
The purpose of this research was to test a new way of investigating biological uptake of smelting-related contaminants with a focus on harvested wildlife. Specific objectives were 1) to collect hair samples from elk (Cervus elaphus) harvested in the vicinity of the Anaconda Smelter National Priority List Site in Montana, 2) to analyze the samples using inductively coupled plasma – mass spectrometry (ICP-MS), and 3) to identify potential elements of concern from the data. Hair samples were collected from 56 elk, and concentration data were processed using a hazard quotient/index approach based on concepts commonly used in fields of ecological and human health risk analyses. Arsenic concentrations in the hair decreased as a function of increasing distance from the Anaconda smelter stack, and 57 % of the elk sampled were identified as animals of concern. For elk harvested within 25 km of the stack, elements of concern were aluminum, arsenic, barium, boron, lithium, manganese, molybdenum, strontium, and vanadium. For elk harvested within 76-101.5 km of the stack, elements of concern were aluminum, barium, boron, lithium, and manganese. Hazard indices for uranium, arsenic, cadmium, and lithium were larger by factors of ~17, 9, 7, and 6, respectively, for elk harvested within 25 km of the stack compared to hazard indices for elk harvested within 76-101.5 km.
Gillespie, K. L., Peterson, H. G., Clark, C. M., & Black, J. S. 2012. Wildlife as Biosamplers: Contaminants in Hair of Elk Harvested Near the Anaconda Smelter Site. Intermountain Journal of Sciences 18(1-4): 39-48.