ENVIRONMENTAL EFFECTS OF HEAVY METAL POLLUTION

A new project is looking at PGE pollution in the environment.  These elements, particularly Pt, Rh, and Pd are continually being released into the environment via catalytic converters.  While their use in automobiles cuts down greenhouse gas emissions, the effects of the PGEs on the environment are unknown.  What is known is that Pt is a potential carcinogenic material if complexed with organic molecules.  What is not known is whether Pt and Rh make it into the food chain from this contamination. We have shown that Pt and Rh are present in roadside dirt around South Bend.  We are now expanding this study to look at vegetation as well as soil.

Papers resulting from this research:

Ely J.C., Neal C.R., Kulpa C.K., Schneegurt M.A., Seidler J.A., and Jain J.C. (2001) Impacts of platinum-group element accumulation in the USA from catalytic-converter attrition. Env. Sci. Tech. 35, 3816-3822.

Schneegurt M.A., Jain, J.C., Menicucci J.A., Brown S., Garofalo D.F., Quallick M.R., Neal C.R., and Kulpa C.F. Jr. (2000) Use of biomass by-products for the remediation of wastewaters contaminated with toxic metals. Env. Sci. Tech. 35, 3786-3791.

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