Arsenic speciation in Iowa's groundwater and surface water

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Project Period: 
Project Investigator(s): 
D. Simmons, University Hygienic Laboratory, University of Iowa

Arsenic (As) is a highly regulated trace element due to its adverse health effects. The University Hygienic Laboratory has closely monitored total arsenic concentrations in Iowa's surface (lakes, rivers, streams, etc.) and groundwater; elevated levels of arsenic have been detected in the past. Different As species, including inorganic and organoarsenic species, have different toxicities and bioavailabilities. We propose a pilot study to take an initial assessment of As speciation in both groundwater and surface water from a variety of Iowa sites. A hyphenated technique, coupling Inductively SCoupled Plasma - Mass Spectrometry (ICP-MS) with a liquid chromatographic (LC) separation, will facilitate the analytical tasks. Some water chemistry parameters and their influence on arsenic speciation will also be investigated. Joining with the Iowa Statewide Rural Well Water Survey Phase II (SWRL 2), it is expected that this study will lead to a more comprehensive arsenic environmental chemistry study in the rural environment.