Thursday, September 1, 2011

ENVIRO-NEWS: New USGS study on Trace Elements in U.S. Groundwater

---------- Forwarded message ----------
From: "Makuch, Joseph" <>
Date: Sep 1, 2011 11:34 AM
Subject: [ENVIRO-NEWS] New USGS study on Trace Elements in U.S. Groundwater
To: <>

From: Neil M Dubrovsky []
Sent: Tuesday, August 30, 2011 1:29 PM
Subject: New USGS study on Trace Elements in U.S. Groundwater

A new USGS study evaluates the occurrence of 23 trace elements and radon in groundwater samples from over 5,000 wells collected nationwide from 1992-2003. The report presents trace element occurrence, describes factors that influence the spatial distribution of trace elements, and compares concentrations to human-health benchmarks. A news release and the full report can be accessed online at .

Selected Highlights:

o        About 20% of untreated water samples from public, private, and monitoring wells contain concentrations of at least one trace element, such as arsenic, manganese and uranium, at levels of potential health concern.

o        Differences in the concentration of trace elements are related to the climatic conditions and land use of the area.

o        Basic geology and geochemistry of water samples helps to predict risk of trace elements exceeding human-health benchmarks.

o        About 10 percent wells that had a trace element concentration in excess of human health benchmarks actually contained two or more trace elements exceeding human                                         health benchmarks.

This study is part of the USGS National Water-Quality Assessment Program, which has assessed the physical, chemical, and biological characteristics of streams, rivers, and groundwater across the Nation since 1991.

Neil M. Dubrovsky, PhD.
Nutrients and Trace Elements National Synthesis Project Chief
National Water-Quality Assessment Program
U.S. Geological Survey

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