Introduction into the environment of elements (such as arsenic, cadmium, lead, and mercury) which have a deleterious effect on living organisms when found naturally in only minor amounts (concentrations less than 1.0 milligram per liter) in water or sediment.
Trace elements were present at high concentrations in 32% of the primary aquifers here, and at moderate concentrations in 17%. Of particular interest are aluminum, arsenic, vanadium, boron, fluoride, chromium, lead, and molybdenum.
Five trace elements with human-health concerns were detected at high concentrations: arsenic, boron, molybdenum, strontium, and vanadium. Chromium and fluoride were detected at moderate concentrations.
Uranium, arsenic, and nitrate were the inorganic constituents that were most frequently detected at high concentrations, mostly in shallower wells. High and moderate concentrations of arsenic were detected in deeper wells.
Arsenic and boron were the trace elements that most frequently occurred at high concentrations. Fumigants (pesticides) were detected at high concentrations in 3% of the primary aquifers. Herbicides and insecticides were detected at low concentrations.