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GeoHEALTH-USGS Newsletter

GeoHEALTH-USGS Newsletter

The GeoHEALTH-USGS Newsletter provides information on new USGS science activities related to safeguarding the health of fish, wildlife, domesticated animals, livestock, and people from environmental exposures to contaminants and pathogens.

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Featured Science Activities

Featured Science Activities

Lean about our Featured Science Activities through our pages that highlight recience studies, publications, and results.

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Filter Total Items: 2,970
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Year Published: 2019

Assessment of chronic low‐dose elemental and radiological exposures of biota at the Kanab North uranium mine site in the Grand Canyon watershed

High‐grade U ore deposits are in various stages of exploitation across the Grand Canyon watershed, yet the effects of U mining on ecological and cultural resources are largely unknown. We characterized the concentrations of Al, As, Bi, Cd, Co, Cu, Fe, Pb, Hg, Mo, Ni, Se, Ag, Tl, Th, U, and Zn, gross alpha and beta activities, and U and Th...

Cleveland, Danielle; Hinck, Jo Ellen; Lankton, Julia S.

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Year Published: 2019

Tracing the cycling and fate of the munition, Hexahydro-1,3,5-trinitro-1,3,5-triazine in a simulated sandy coastal marine habitat with a stable isotopic tracer, 15N-[RDX]

Coastal marine habitats become contaminated with the munitions constituent, Hexahydro-1,3,5-trinitro-1,3,5-trazine (RDX), via military training, weapon testing and leakage of unexploded ordnance. This study used 15N labeled RDX in simulated aquarium-scale coastal marine habitat containing seawater, sediment, and biota to track...

Ariyarathna, Thivanka; Ballentine, Mark; Vlahos, Penny; Smith, Richard W.; Cooper, Christopher; Böhlke, John K.; Fallis, Stephen; Groshens, Thomas J.; Tobias, Craig R.
Ariyarathna, T.S., Ballentine, M., Vlahos, P., Smith, R.W., Cooper, C., Böhlke, J.K., Fallis, S., Groshens, T.J., and Tobias, C.R., 2018, Tracing the cycling and fate of the munition, Hexahydro-1,3,5-trinitro-1,3,5-triazine in a simulated sandy coastal marine habitat with a stable isotopic tracer, 15N-[RDX]. Science of the Total Environment v. 647, p. 369-378, http://doi.org/10.1016/j.scitotenv.2018.07.404.

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Year Published: 2019

Stream mercury export in response to contemporary timber harvesting methods (Pacific Coastal Mountains, Oregon, USA)

Land-use activities can alter hydrological and biogeochemical processes that can affect the fate, transformation, and transport of mercury (Hg). Previous studies in boreal forests have shown that forestry operations can have profound, but variable effects on Hg export and methylmercury (MeHg) formation. The Pacific Northwest is an important...

Eckley, Chris S.; Eagles-Smith, Collin A.; Tate, Michael T.; Kowalski, Brandon M; Danehy, Robert; Johnson, Sherri L; Krabbenhoft, David P.

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Year Published: 2018

Sex‐specific responses in neuroanatomy of hatchling American kestrels in response to embryonic exposure to the flame retardants bis(2‐ethylhexyl)‐2,3,4,5‐tetrabromophthalate and 2‐ethylhexyl‐2,3,4,5‐tetrabromobenzoate

Bis(2‐ethylhexyl)‐2,3,4,5‐tetrabromophthalate (BEH‐TEBP) and 2‐ethylhexyl‐2,3,4,5‐tetrabromobenzoate (EH‐TBB), flame retardant components of FireMaster 550® and 600® have been detected in tissues of wild birds. To address the paucity of information regarding potential impacts of flame retardants on the brain, brain volume regions of hatchling...

Guigueno, Mélanie F.; Karouna-Renier, Natalie K.; Henry, Paula F. P.; Peters, Lisa E.; Palace, Vince P.; Letcher, Robert J.; Fernie, Kim J.

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Year Published: 2018

Characterizing toxicity of metal‐contaminated sediments from the Upper Columbia River, Washington, USA, to benthic invertebrates

Sediments from the Upper Columbia River, Washington, USA, are contaminated with metals from smelting operations. We conducted short‐term and long‐term tests with the midge Chironomus dilutus and the amphipod Hyalella azteca and short‐term tests with the freshwater mussel Lampsilis siliquoidea with 54 sediments from...

Besser, John M.; Steevens, Jeffery; Kunz, James L.; Brumbaugh, William G.; Ingersoll, Christopher G.; Cox, Stephen E.; Mebane, Christopher A.; Balistrieri, Laurie S.; Sinclair, Jesse A.; MacDonald, Donald D.

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Year Published: 2018

A diverse suite of pharmaceuticals contaminates stream and riparian food webs

A multitude of biologically active pharmaceuticals contaminate surface waters globally, yet their presence in aquatic food webs remain largely unknown. Here, we show that over 60 pharmaceutical compounds can be detected in aquatic invertebrates and riparian spiders in six streams near Melbourne, Australia. Similar concentrations in aquatic...

Richmond, Erinn K.; Rosi, Emma J.; Walters, David M.; Fikk, Jerker; Hamilton, Stephen K.; Brodin, Tomas; Sundelin, Anna; Grace, Michael R.

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Year Published: 2018

Hydrogeochemical controls on brook trout spawning habitats in a coastal stream

Brook trout (Salvelinus fontinalis) spawn in fall and overwintering egg development can benefit from stable, relatively warm temperatures in groundwater-seepage zones. However, eggs are also sensitive to dissolved oxygen concentration, which may be reduced in discharging groundwater (i.e., seepage). We investigated a 2 km reach of the coastal...

Briggs, Martin A.; Harvey, Judson W.; Hurley, Stephen T.; Rosenberry, Donald O.; McCobb, Timothy D.; Werkema, Dale D.; Lane, Jr., John W.

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Year Published: 2018

Contaminants of emerging concern in the environment: Where we have been and what does the future hold?

In 1962, Rachel Carson’s book Silent Spring alerted the nation to the dangers of manmade chemicals and indiscriminate use of pesticides. DDT was the culprit and its use threatened a variety of wildlife, including the national bird, bald eagles. In 1969, pressured by scientists and the public, the United States banned almost all uses of DDT;...

Battaglin, William A.; Kolpin, Dana W.; Furlong, Edward T.; Glassmeyer, Susan; Blackwell, Brett R.; Corsi, Steven; Meyer, Michael T.; Bradley, Paul M.
Battaglin, W.A., Koplin, D.W., Furlong, E.T., Glassmeyer, S., Blackwell, B., Corsi, S.R., Meyer, M. T., and Bradley, P.M., 2018, Contaminants of Emerging Concern in the Environment: Where We Have Been and What Does the Future Hold?: Water Resources IMPACT, vol. 20, no. 6, p. 8-11. https://www.awra.org/impact/

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Year Published: 2018

Reconnaissance of mixed organic and inorganic chemicals in private and public supply tapwaters at selected residential and workplace sites in the United States

Safe drinking water at the point-of-use (tapwater, TW) is a United States public health priority. Multiple lines of evidence were used to evaluate potential human health concerns of 482 organics and 19 inorganics in TW from 13 (7 public supply, 6 private well self-supply) home and 12 (public supply) workplace locations in 11 states. Only uranium (...

Bradley, Paul M.; Kolpin, Dana W.; Romanok, Kristin M.; Smalling, Kelly L.; Focazio, Michael J.; Brown, Juliane B.; Cardon, Mary C.; Carpenter, Kurt; Corsi, Steven R.; DeCicco, Laura A.; Dietze, Julie E.; Evans, Nicola; Furlong, Edward T.; Givens, Carrie E.; Gray, James; Griffin, Dale W.; Higgins, Christopher P.; Hladik, Michelle L.; Iwanowicz, Luke R. ; Journey, Celeste A.; Kuivila, Kathryn ; Masoner, Jason R.; McDonough, Carrie A.; Meyer, Michael T.; Orlando, James L.; Strynar, Mark J.; Weis, Christopher P.; Wilson, Vickie S.

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Year Published: 2018

Effect of calcium on the bioavailability of dissolved uranium(VI) in plant roots under circumneutral pH

We integrated field measurements, hydroponic experiments, microscopy, and spectroscopy to investigate the effect of Ca(II) on dissolved U(VI) uptake by plants in 1 mM HCO3– solutions at circumneutral pH. The accumulation of U in plants (3.1–21.3 mg kg–1) from the stream bank of the Rio Paguate, Jackpile Mine, New Mexico served as a motivation...

El Hayek, Eliane; Torres, Chris; Rodriguez-Freire, Lucia; Blake, Johanna M.; De Vore, Cherie L.; Brearley, Adrian J.; Spilde, Michael N.; Cabaniss, Stephen; Ali, Abdul-Mehdi S.; Cerrato, José M.

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Year Published: 2018

Concentrations of lead and other inorganic constituents in samples of raw intake and treated drinking water from the municipal water filtration plant and residential tapwater in Chicago, Illinois, and East Chicago, Indiana, July–December 2017

The U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) Environmental Health Mission Area (EHMA) is providing comprehensive science on sources, movement, and transformation of contaminants and pathogens in watershed and aquifer drinking-water supplies and in built water and wastewater infrastructure (referred to as the USGS Water and Wastewater Infrastructure project)...

Romanok, Kristin M.; Kolpin, Dana W.; Meppelink, Shannon M.; Focazio, Michael J.; Argos, Maria; Hollingsworth, Mary E. ; McCleskey, R. Blaine; Putz, Andrea R.; Stark, Alan ; Weis, Christopher P.; Zehraoui, Abderrahman; Bradley, Paul M.
Romanok, K.M., Kolpin, D.W., Meppelink, S.M., Focazio, M.J., Argos, M., Hollingsworth, M.E., McCleskey, R.B., Putz, A.R., Stark, A., Weis, C.P., Zehraoui, A., and Bradley, P.M., 2018, Concentrations of lead and other inorganic constituents in samples of raw intake and treated drinking water from the municipal water filtration plant and residential tapwater in Chicago, Illinois, and East Chicago, Indiana, July–December 2017: U.S. Geological Survey Open-File Report 2018–1071, 10 p., https://doi.org/10.3133/ofr20181071.

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Year Published: 2018

Methods used for the collection and analysis of chemical and biological data for the Tapwater Exposure Study, United States, 2016–17

In 2016, the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) Environmental Health Mission Area, initiated the Tapwater Exposure Study as part of an infrastructure project to assess human exposure to potential threats from complex mixtures of contaminants. In the pilot phase (2016), samples were collected from 11 States throughout the United States, and in the...

Romanok, Kristin M.; Kolpin, Dana W.; Meppelink, Shannon M.; Argos, Maria; Brown, Juliane B.; Devito, Michael J.; Dietze, Julie E.; Givens, Carrie E.; Gray, James L.; Higgins, Christopher P.; Hladik, Michelle L.; Iwanowicz, Luke R.; Loftin, Keith A.; McCleskey, R. Blaine; McDonough, Carrie A.; Meyer, Michael T.; Strynar, Mark J.; Weis, Christopher P.; Wilson, Vickie S.; Bradley, Paul M.
Romanok, K.M., Kolpin, D.W., Meppelink, S.M., Argos, M., Brown, J.B., DeVito, M.J., Dietze, J.E., Givens, C.E., Gray, J.L., Higgins, C.P., Hladik, M.L., Iwanowicz, L.R., Loftin, K.A., McCleskey, R.B., McDonough, C.A., Meyer, M.T., Strynar, M.J., Weis, C.P., Wilson, V.S., and Bradley, P.M., 2018, Methods used for the collection and analysis of chemical and biological data for the Tapwater Exposure Study, United States, 2016–17: U.S. Geological Survey Open-File Report 2018–1098, 79 p., https://doi.org/10.3133/ofr20181098.