Date of Graduation
Master of Science in Geospatial Sciences
Geography, Geology, and Planning
Smelter, sediment, air pollution, lead, normalization
Environmental Monitoring | Geology
Missouri has a rich history of lead mining. In the smelting process lead particles are emitted, which may be toxic to plants and animals. This study focuses on two primary lead smelters, Herculaneum and Glover, in Missouri. Smelting operations have ceased at these two sites, and unlike Herculaneum, Glover has no reported lead concentrations. Findings from air and sediments of these two sites were compared to background conditions and to each other. Thirty-three samples were collected from Herculaneum and Glover (thirty samples and three replicates) and eleven samples (ten samples and one replicate) for background. For Herculaneum sediment, lead levels ranged from 2 to 250 mg/kg, cadmium levels ranged from below detectable limit (Herculaneum > Background. In Glover, average monthly lead air concentrations in 2013-2014 ranged from 0.04 to 0.15 µg/m3 and in 2018-2019 ranged from 0.01to 0.04 µg/m3. In Herculaneum, average monthly lead air concentrations in 2013-2014 ranged from 0.02 to 0.29 µg/m3 and in 2018-2019 ranged from 0.03to 0.15 µg/m3. For both background sites, lead air concentrations in their final year of data ranged from 0.01 to 0.02 µg/m3. In air, the contamination was Herculaneum > Glover > Background. Backgrounds for both sediment and air were significantly lower than the values observed for the smelter sites.
© Robert S. Armstrong
Armstrong, Robert S., "The Legacy of Contamination by Lead Smelters in Missouri" (2020). MSU Graduate Theses. 3567.