Lead, cadmium, and zinc concentrations in plaster and mortar from structures in Jasper and Newton Counties, Missouri (Tri-State Mining District)
The primary goal of this study was to evaluate anecdotal evidence that within Jasper and Newton Counties, Missouri, two counties within the Tri-State Mining District, granular mine tailings were commonly used in place of river sands in wall plasters and mortar. Interior wall plaster and mortar samples from structures in this mining district were analyzed for lead, cadmium, and zinc, and compared to samples from Springfield, MO (comparison site). The Jasper and Newton County samples showed elevated concentrations of the three elements, consistent with the inclusion of mine tailings, with a number of samples containing lead and cadmium at concentrations greater than EPA remediation targets for yard soil. X-ray diffraction studies showed the presence of the zinc ore minerals, sphalerite and hemimorphite, in high level samples. Thin section optical studies identified the major component of the aggregate as chert, a mineral abundant within the tailing piles. Because dust from crumbling plaster and mortar could represent an avenue for significant heavy metal exposure to building occupants, we suggest that there may be associated health consequences that should be further evaluated.
Chemistry and Biochemistry
Cadmium, Lead, Mining, Plaster, Zinc
Perry, Phyllis M., Jeffrey W. Pavlik, Ralph W. Sheets, and Richard N. Biagioni. "Lead, cadmium, and zinc concentrations in plaster and mortar from structures in Jasper and Newton Counties, Missouri (Tri-State Mining District)." Science of the total environment 336, no. 1-3 (2005): 275-281.
Science of the Total Environment