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What Are the Health Hazards from Contaminants Released to the Environment by Natural Disasters?
Natural-color image of Hurricane Sandy
Science Center Objects
Our specialized teams of hydrologists, chemists, and geologists working together at field sites in Northeastern US after Hurricane Sandy have shown:
- Metal contaminants were released to the environment after Hurricane Sandy due to some dune restoration activities.
- In other locations the storm actually decreased contaminant exposures to bottom dwelling aquatic biota.
Natural disasters like hurricanes exert powerful forces that can cause spills or mobilize contaminants where contact by humans, wildlife, and commercial fisheries is possible in the immediate aftermath of the storm and potentially much longer.
Questions We're Working On:
- Are there long-term contaminant hazards months or years after natural disasters?