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New and Improved Methods for Monitoring Air Quality and the Terrestrial Environment: Applications at Aberdeen Proving Ground-Edgewood Area.

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Annual rept. 1 Apr-14 Nov 97,

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Honey bees Apis mellifera L. have been shown to be multi-media monitors of chemical exposures and resultant effects. This five-year project has developed an automated system to assess in real-time colony behavioral responses to stressors, both anthropogenic and natural, including inclement weather. Field trials at the Aberdeen Proving Ground-Edgewood included the Old O Field and J Field landfills, the Canal Creek and Bush River areas, and a Churchville, MD reference site. Preliminary results show varying concentrations of bioavailable inorganic elements and chlorinated hydrocarbons in bee colonies from all Maryland sites. Industrial solvents in the air inside beehives exhibited the greatest between site differences, with the highest levels occurring in hives near landfills at Old O Field, J Field, and at some sites in the Bush River and Canal Creek areas. Compared to 1996, the 1997 levels of solvents in Old O Field hives decreased by an order of magnitude, and colony performance significantly improved, probably as a consequence of capping the landfill. Recent chemical monitoring accomplishments include development of a new apparatus to quantitatively calibrate TDGCMS analysis, a QAQC assessment of factors that limit the precision of these analyses, and confirmation of transport of aqueous contaminants into the hive. Real-time effects monitoring advances include development of an extensive array of software tools for automated data display, inspection, and numerical analysis and the ability to deliver data from remote locations in real time through Internet or Intranet connections.

Subject Categories:

  • Biology
  • Air Pollution and Control

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