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Dive into our publications and explore the science from the Environmental Health Program (Toxic Substances Hydrology and Contaminant Biology).

Filter Total Items: 3746

Distribution of ancient carbon in groundwater and soil gas from degradation of petroleum near the Red Hill Bulk Fuel Storage Facility, O‘ahu, Hawai‘i

The groundwater below the Red Hill Bulk Fuel Storage Facility (the facility) in Oʻahu, Hawaiʻi, contains fuel compounds from past spills. This study used carbon-14 analyses to distinguish fuel-derived carbon from background carbon, along with other biodegradation indicators, to address two goals: (1) determine the extent and migration direction of groundwater affected by residual fuel below the fa

Jared J. Trost, Barbara A. Bekins, Jeanne B. Jaeschke, Geoffrey N. Delin, Daniel A Sinclair, James K Stack, Rylen K. Nakama, Uli'i M. Miyajima, Lhiberty D. Pagaduan, Isabelle M. Cozzarelli

Interdisciplinary science approach for harmful algal blooms (HABs) and algal toxins—A strategic science vision for the U.S. Geological Survey

Executive SummaryAlgal blooms in water, soils, dusts, and the environment have captured national attention because of concerns associated with exposure to algal toxins for humans and animals. Algal blooms naturally occur in all surface-water types and are important primary producers for aquatic ecosystems. However, excessive algae growth can be associated with many harmful effects ranging from aes
Victoria G. Christensen, Christopher J. Crawford, Robert J. Dusek, Michael J. Focazio, Lisa Reynolds Fogarty, Jennifer L. Graham, Celeste A. Journey, Mari E. Lee, James H. Larson, Sarah M. Stackpoole, Viviana Mazzei, Emily J. Pindilli, Barnett A. Rattner, E. Terrence Slonecker, Kristen B. McSwain, Timothy J. Reilly, Ashley E. Lopez

Integrated science for the study of microplastics in the environment—A strategic science vision for the U.S. Geological Survey

Executive SummaryEvidence of the widespread occurrence of microplastics throughout our environment and exposure to humans and other organisms over the past decade has led to questions about the possibility of health hazards and mitigation of exposures. This document discusses nanoplastics as well as microplastics (referred to solely as microplastics); the microplastics have a range from 1 micromet
Deborah D. Iwanowicz, Austin K. Baldwin, Larry B. Barber, Vicki S. Blazer, Steven R. Corsi, Joseph W. Duris, Shawn C. Fisher, Michael Focazio, Sarah E. Janssen, Jeramy Roland Jasmann, Dana W. Kolpin, Johanna M. Kraus, Rachael F. Lane, Mari E. Lee, Kristen B. McSwain, Timothy D. Oden, Timothy J. Reilly, Andrew R. Spanjer

Wildfire burn severity and stream chemistry influence aquatic invertebrate and riparian avian mercury exposure in forested ecosystems

Terrestrial soils in forested landscapes represent some of the largest mercury (Hg) reserves globally. Wildfire can alter the storage and distribution of terrestrial-bound Hg via reemission to the atmosphere or mobilization in watersheds where it may become available for methylation and uptake into food webs. Using data associated with the 2007 Moonlight and Antelope Fires in California, we examin
Garth Herring, Lora B. Tennant, James Willacker, Matthew Johnson, Rodney B. Siegel, Julie S. Polasik, Collin Eagles-Smith

Illegal dumping of oil and gas wastewater alters arid soil microbial communities

The Permian Basin, underlying southeast New Mexico and west Texas, is one of the most productive oil and gas (OG) provinces in the United States. Oil and gas production yields large volumes of wastewater with complex chemistries, and the environmental health risks posed by these OG wastewaters on sensitive desert ecosystems are poorly understood. Starting in November 2017, 39 illegal dumps, as def
Mitra Kashani, Mark A Engle, Douglas B. Kent, Terry G. Gregston, Isabelle M. Cozzarelli, Adam Mumford, Matthew S. Varonka, Cassandra Rashan Harris, Denise M. Akob

Broad-scale assessment of methylmercury in adult amphibians

Mercury (Hg) is a toxic contaminant that has been mobilized and distributed worldwide and is a threat to many wildlife species. Amphibians are facing unprecedented global declines due to many threats including contaminants. While the biphasic life history of many amphibians creates a potential nexus for methylmercury (MeHg) exposure in aquatic habitats and subsequent health effects, the broad-scal

Brian J. Tornabene, Blake R. Hossack, Brian J. Halstead, Collin Eagles-Smith, Michael J. Adams, Adam R. Backlin, Adrianne Brand, Colleen Emery, Robert N. Fisher, Jillian Elizabeth Fleming, Brad Glorioso, Daniel A. Grear, Evan H. Campbell Grant, Patrick M. Kleeman, David Miller, Erin L. Muths, Christopher Pearl, Jennifer Rowe, Caitlin Teresa Rumrill, J. Hardin Waddle, Megan Winzeler, Kelly L. Smalling

Nitrifying microorganisms linked to biotransformation of perfluoroalkyl sulfonamido precursors from legacy aqueous film forming foams

Drinking water supplies across the United States have been contaminated by firefighting and fire-training activities that use aqueous film-forming foams (AFFF) containing per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS). Much of the AFFF is manufactured using electrochemical fluorination by 3M. Precursors with six perfluorinated carbons (C6) and non-fluorinated amine substituents make up approximately o
Bridger J. Ruyle, Lara Schultes, Denise M. Akob, Cassandra Rashan Harris, Michelle Lorah, Simon Vojta, Jitka Becanova, Shelly McCann, Heidi M. Pickard, Ann Pearson, Rainer Lohmann, Chad D. Vecitis, Elsie M. Sunderland

Uptake of per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances by fish, mussel, and passive samplers in mobile laboratory exposures using groundwater from a contamination plume at a historical fire training area, Cape Cod, Massachusetts

Aqueous film-forming foams historically were used during fire training activities on Joint Base Cape Cod, Massachusetts, and created an extensive per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS) groundwater contamination plume. The potential for PFAS bioconcentration from exposure to the contaminated groundwater, which discharges to surface water bodies, was assessed with mobile-laboratory experiments u
Larry B. Barber, Heidi M. Pickard, David Alvarez, Jitka Becanova, Steffanie H. Keefe, Denis R. LeBlanc, Rainer Lohmann, Jeffery Steevens, Alan M. Vajda

Grass carp reproduction in small tributaries of Truman Reservoir, Missouri: Implications for establishment in novel habitats

Substantial work has been conducted to estimate the river length required for recruitment of invasive Grass Carp Ctenopharyngodon idella and bigheaded carps (Bighead Carp Hypophthalmichthys nobilis and Silver Carp H. molitrix); however, the distance upstream and size of stream required for spawning remain unclear. Adult Grass Carp are regularly captured in Harry S. Truman Reservoir, Missouri, alth
Cari-Ann Hayer, Michael F. Bayless, Cathy A. Richter, Amy E. George, Duane Chapman

Acetylenotrophic and diazotrophic Bradyrhizobium sp. strain I71 from TCE-contaminated soils

AbstractAcetylene (C2H2) is a molecule rarely found in nature, with very few known natural sources, but acetylenotrophic microorganisms can use acetylene as their primary carbon and energy source. As of 2018 there were 15 known strains of aerobic and anaerobic acetylenotrophs; however, we hypothesize there may yet be unrecognized diversity of acetylenotrophs in nature. This study expands the known
Denise M. Akob, John M. Sutton, Timothy J. Bushman, Shaun Baesman, Edina Klein, Yesha Shrestha, Robert Andrews, Janna L. Fierst, Max Kolton, Sara Gushgari-Doyle, Ronald Oremland, John Freeman

Abundance and distribution of large thecosome pteropods in the northern Gulf of Mexico

The ecological role of large thecosome pteropods in the pelagic ecosystem of the northern Gulf of Mexico (GoM) may be substantial, both in the food web and biogeochemical cycling. We analyzed species abundances, vertical and horizontal distributions of large species with calcareous shells (those collected in 3-mm mesh nets). Pteropod samples were collected following the 2010 Deepwater Horizon oil

Sarah Shedler, Brad Seibel, Michael Vecchione, Dale W. Griffin, Heather Judkins

Using biological responses to monitor freshwater post-spill conditions over 3 years in Blacktail Creek, North Dakota, USA

A pipeline carrying unconventional oil and gas (OG) wastewater spilled approximately 11 million liters of wastewater into Blacktail Creek, North Dakota, USA. Flow of the mix of stream water and wastewater down the channel resulted in storage of contaminants in the hyporheic zone and along the banks, providing a long-term source of wastewater constituents to the stream. A multi-level investigation
Aida Farag, David Harper, Isabelle M. Cozzarelli, Douglas B. Kent, Adam Mumford, Denise M. Akob, Travis W. Schaeffer, Luke R. Iwanowicz