Free Newsletters - Space News - Defense Alert - Environment Report - Energy Monitor
. Earth Science News .




FROTH AND BUBBLE
Oldest record of human-caused lead pollution detected
by Staff Writers
Pittsburgh PA (SPX) Jun 17, 2013


File image.

Humans began contributing to environmental lead pollution as early as 8,000 years ago, according to a University of Pittsburgh research report.

The Pitt research team detected the oldest-discovered remains of human-derived lead pollution in the world in the northernmost region of Michigan, suggesting metal pollution from mining and other human activities appeared far earlier in North America than in Europe, Asia, and South America. Their findings are highlighted on the cover of the latest issue of Environmental Science and Technology.

"Humanity's environmental legacy spans thousands of years, back to times traditionally associated with hunter-gatherers. Our records indicate that the influence of early Native Americans on the environment can be detected using lake sediments," said David Pompeani, lead author of the research paper and a PhD candidate in Pitt's Department of Geology and Planetary Science.

"These findings have important implications for interpreting both the archeological record and environmental history of the upper Great Lakes."

The University of Pittsburgh research team-which included, from Pitt's Department of Geology and Planetary Science, Mark Abbott, associate professor of paleoclimatology, and Daniel Bain, assistant professor of catchment science, along with Pitt alumnus Byron A. Steinman (A and S '11G)-examined Michigan's Keweenaw Peninsula because it is the largest source of pure native copper in North America.

Early surveys of the region in the 1800s identified prehistoric human mining activity in the form of such tools as hammerstones, ladders, and pit mines.

The team from the Department of Geology and Planetary Science investigated the timing, location, and magnitude of ancient copper mining pollution. Sediments were collected in June 2010 from three lakes located near ancient mine pits. They analyzed the concentration of lead, titanium, magnesium, iron, and organic matter in the collected sediment cores-finding distinct decade- to century-scale increases in lead pollution preserved from thousands of years ago.

"These data suggest that measurable levels of lead were emitted by preagricultural societies mining copper on Keweenaw Peninsula starting as early as 8,000 years ago," said Pompeani.

"Collectively, these records have confirmed, for the first time, that prehistoric pollution from the Michigan Copper Districts can be detected in the sediments found in nearby lakes."

By contrast, reconstructions of metal pollution from other parts of the world, such as Asia, Europe, and South America, only provide evidence for lead pollution during the last 3,000 years, said Pompeani.

"We're hopeful that our work can be used in the future to better understand past environmental changes," said Abbott.

The team is currently investigating places near other prehistoric copper mines surrounding Lake Superior.

The research paper, "Lake Sediments Record Prehistoric Lead Pollution Related to Early Copper Production in North America," was first published online May 14 in Environmental Science and Technology. The work was funded by a Henry Leighton Memorial Fund grant through the University of Pittsburgh Department of Geology and Planetary Science, a graduate student research award from the Geological Society of America, and instrumental support from the National Science Foundation.

.


Related Links
University of Pittsburgh
Our Polluted World and Cleaning It Up






Comment on this article via your Facebook, Yahoo, AOL, Hotmail login.

Share this article via these popular social media networks
del.icio.usdel.icio.us DiggDigg RedditReddit GoogleGoogle




Memory Foam Mattress Review
Newsletters :: SpaceDaily :: SpaceWar :: TerraDaily :: Energy Daily
XML Feeds :: Space News :: Earth News :: War News :: Solar Energy News





FROTH AND BUBBLE
China to hold local leaders responsible for air quality
Beijing (AFP) June 16, 2013
China has pledged to hold local government leaders responsible for improving air quality, officials said, after heavy smog across China earlier this year stoked social discontent. The State Council, or cabinet, announced the move along with a range of other policies aimed at reducing emissions of pollutants - from forcing industries to install anti-pollution equipment to strengthening the c ... read more


FROTH AND BUBBLE
China work safety probe finds 'many' problems: official

Sandbags and raw nerves as flood peak hits Germany

More radioactive leaks reported at Fukushima plant

Japan disaster cash spent on counting turtles: report

FROTH AND BUBBLE
MakerBot Opens New Manufacturing Factory in Brooklyn

Echoes can reveal the shape of a room

Chinese astronauts complete warm-up maintenance work in space module

Raytheon awarded contract for F-15C AESA radars

FROTH AND BUBBLE
At least 60 feared dead as monsoon lashes north India

Ocean acidification killing oysters by inhibiting shell formation

Study of oceans' past raises worries about their future

Egypt, Ethiopia agree to further talks over Nile row

FROTH AND BUBBLE
Study finds atmospheric conditions led to record Greenland ice melting

Warm ocean water melting Antarctic ice from bottom

Ancient trapped water explains Earth's first ice age

US senators urge Obama to block Alaska mine

FROTH AND BUBBLE
Key investor pushes for Smithfield breakup

Genetic diversity could be key to survival of honeybee colonies

Pesticides slash water life by 42 percent: study

Rice research investment delivers sixfold return

FROTH AND BUBBLE
5.8-magnitude quake strikes central Mexico

Hungary president slams lagging EU flood aid

Seismic safety of light-frame steel construction being tested

Germany eyes 8bn-euro fund for flood victims: reports

FROTH AND BUBBLE
Six soldiers killed in attack on Mozambique armoury: reports

First pictures of Algeria's Bouteflika since mini-stroke

Gunfire at paramilitary barracks in Niger capital: residents

'Scorched earth' tactics in Sudan's Blue Nile: Amnesty

FROTH AND BUBBLE
Geographic context may have shaped sounds of different languages

Penn Research Indentifies Bone Tumor in 120,000-Year-Old Neandertal Rib

Weapons testing data determines brain makes new neurons into adulthood

World's 'oldest woman' dies in China: family




The content herein, unless otherwise known to be public domain, are Copyright 1995-2014 - Space Media Network. AFP, UPI and IANS news wire stories are copyright Agence France-Presse, United Press International and Indo-Asia News Service. ESA Portal Reports are copyright European Space Agency. All NASA sourced material is public domain. Additional copyrights may apply in whole or part to other bona fide parties. Advertising does not imply endorsement,agreement or approval of any opinions, statements or information provided by Space Media Network on any Web page published or hosted by Space Media Network. Privacy Statement