Remedial Investigation Report: White Phosphorus Contamination of Salt Marsh Sediments at Eagle River Flats, Alaska
COLD REGIONS RESEARCH AND ENGINEERING LAB HANOVER NH
Pagination or Media Count:
The bottom sediments of the two contaminated ponds in ERF likely contain a large number of very small WP particles and a small number of larger particles 1mm. The larger particles could provide a lethal dose around 0.25 mg for a small duck such as a green-winged teal. The very small WP particles in the sediments can become suspended in the water column and could provide another source of exposure for waterbirds, fish or plankton. WP poisoning of non-waterfowl species, particularly phalaropes, was documented however, extensive areas of mudflats used by migrating shorebirds in ERF were not sampled and could contain WP. High rates of predation and consumption of WP-containing duck carcasses by bald eagles, herring gulls and ravens indicate that these species are at risk. WP was detected in the tissues of a dead bald eagle found in ERF. Evidence suggests that WP is transported within and to a very limited extent, out of ERF in birds that have ingested WP but can still fly. Dead water-fowl found in ponds without detectable WP could have ingested in the WP in either Area C or the Bread Truck Pond and flown to and died in one of these other areas.
- Environmental Health and Safety