A Quantitative Comparison of Heavy Metal Concentrations in the Soils on Two Rocky Mountain West tribal Reservations
Keywords:environmental health, tribal communities, reservations, environmental justice, community-based participatory research
Native Americans have experienced a long history of environmental injustice, including natural resource exploitation and commercial activity with environmental impacts. A community-based participatory research (CBPR) approach was used to partner with two Rocky Mountain West reservations to conduct pilot-level assessments of potential soil contamination by heavy metals. The Community Advisory Board in conjunction with the research team selected residential areas and community sites for sampling. Samples were obtained, transported to a laboratory for dehydration and sieving, and were analyzed with a handheld X-ray fluorescence (XRF) tool for the presence of 24 heavy metals. Heavy metals concentrations were compared between reservations and were found to be statistically different from one another. Findings were also compared to levels recommended by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and World Health Organization (WHO) to determine possible hazards to human health. Concentration of Sr, Rb, and Th were well above acceptable EPA levels and require further analysis. High localized Pb levels were found in one area, while Hg levels were found close to EPA standards. CBPR was essential to understanding preliminary contamination patterns. In conclusion, even reservations with similar geographies and histories present with unique contaminations and require individualized study to determine possible environmental mitigation.
References or Bibliography
Adakai, M.S.-R., M; Xu, F; Aseret-Manygoats, T; Allison, M; Greenlund, KJ; Barbour, KE, Health Disparities Among American Indians/Alaska Natives - Arizona, 2017. US National Library of Medicine National Institutes of Health, 2018.
Natives, T.F.H.P.f.A.I.a.A., Indian Health Services - Fact Sheet: Disparities, U.S.D.o.H.a.H. Services, Editor. 2019.
Lewis, J., J. Hoover, and D. MacKenzie, Mining and Environmental Health Disparities in Native American Communities. Current environmental health reports, 2017. 4(2): p. 130-141. doi: 10.1007/s40572-017-0140-5
EPA, Hazardous Waste Releases on Indian Land: Beginning the Superfund Process. 1989: National Service Center for Environmental Publications.
Brook, D., Environmental Genocide: Native Americans and Toxic Waste. The American Journal of Economics and Sociology, 1998. 57(1): p. 105-113.
Blake JM, Avasarala S, Artyushkova K, et al. Elevated Concentrations of U and Co-occurring Metals in Abandoned Mine Wastes in a Northeastern Arizona Native American Community. Environ Sci Technol. 2015;49(14):8506-8514. doi:10.1021/acs.est.5b01408
Wyoming, S.o., Wyoming Minerals. Wyoming State Geological Survey, 2020.
Vhahangwele, M.K., L. Muedi, Environmental Contamination by Heavy Metals. 2018.
McKinley, C.E., Ka’apu, K., Miller Scarnato, J., Liddell, J. (2020) Cardiovascular Health among U.S. Indigenous Peoples: A Holistic and Sex-Specific Systematic Review, Journal of Evidence-Based Social Work, 17:1, 24-48, doi: 10.1080/26408066.2019.1617817
Adakai M, S.-R.M., Xu F, Aseret-Manygoats T, Allison M, Greenlund KJ, Barbour KE, Health Disparities Among American Indians/Alaska Natives - Arizona, 2017. US National Library of Medicine National Institutes of Health, 2018.
Cobb, N.E., D; King, J, Health behaviors and risk factors among American Indians and Alaska Natives, 2000-2010. Am J Public Health. 2014;104 Suppl 3(Suppl 3):S481-S489. doi:10.2105/AJPH.2014.301879
Mayer, B., L. Joshweseoma, and G. Sehongva, Environmental Risk Perceptions and Community Health: Arsenic, Air Pollution, and Threats to Traditional Values of the Hopi Tribe. Journal of Community Health, 2019. 44(5): p. 896-902. doi: 10.1007/s10900-019-00627-8.
Sly, P.D., et al., Health Consequences of Environmental Exposures: Causal Thinking in Global Environmental Epidemiology. Annals of Global Health, 2016. 82(1): p. 3-9. doi: 10.1016/j.aogh.2016.01.004
Weaver, H.N., Native Americans and cancer risks: moving toward multifaceted solutions. Soc Work Public Health, 2010. 25(3): p. 272-85. doi: 10.1080/19371910903240621
Charleston, A.E. and R. Sullivan, Exploring Environmental Health Gaps in Native American Populations. J Environ Health, 2016. 78(9): p. 30-1.
Samuel-Nakamura, C.H., Felicia S, Occurrence and Risk of Metal(loid)s in Thelesperma megapotamicum Tea Plant. Plants (Basel). 2019;9(1):21. doi:10.3390/plants9010021
Samuel-Nakamura, C.H., Felicia S; Sokolow, Sophie; S. Ali, Abdul-Mehdi; Robbins, Wendie A, Metal(loid)s in Cucurbita pepo in a Uranium Mining Impacted Area in Northwestern New Mexico, USA. Int J Environ Res Public Health. 2019;16(14):2569. doi:10.3390/ijerph16142569
Eggers MJ, Doyle JT, Lefthand MJ, et al. Community Engaged Cumulative Risk Assessment of Exposure to Inorganic Well Water Contaminants, Crow Reservation, Montana. Int J Environ Res Public Health. 2018;15(1):76. Published 2018 Jan 5. doi:10.3390/ijerph15010076
Reitze, A.W., Jr., The control of air pollution on Indian reservations. Environmental Law, 2016. 46(4): p. 893. doi: 10.2139/ssrn.2922074
Harris, S.G.H., Harper, B.L, Using Eco-Cultural Dependency Webs in Risk Assessment and Characterization of Risks to Tribal Health and Cultures. Environ. Sci. & Pollut. Res. 2000. 2:91-100.
Jardine, C.H.S., Shortreed, J; Craig, L; Krewski, D; Furgal, C; McColl, S, Risk management frameworks for human health and environmental risks. US National Library of Medicine National Institutes of Health, 2003. doi: 10.1080/10937400390208608.
Isaac, G., et al., Native American Perspectives on Health and Traditional Ecological Knowledge. Environmental health perspectives, 2018. 126(12): p. 125002-125002. https://doi.org/10.1289/EHP1944
McOliver, C.A., et al., Community-based research as a mechanism to reduce environmental health disparities in american Indian and alaska native communities. International journal of environmental research and public health, 2015. 12(4): p. 4076-4100. doi: 10.3390/ijerph120404076.
NIOSH, LEAD - health problems caused by lead. CDC 2018.
Walker, S., EPA facts about Thorium, in Environmental Protection Agency. 2019.
Lenntech. Chemical properties of strontium - Health effects of strontium - Environmental effects of strontium. 2020; Available from: https://www.lenntech.com/periodic/elements/sr.htm.
Lenntech, Chemical properties of rubidium - Health effects of rubidium - Environmental effects of rubidium. 2020.
Dashner-Titus, E.J., et al., Metal exposure and oxidative stress markers in pregnant Navajo Birth Cohort Study participants. Free radical biology & medicine, 2018. 124: p. 484-492. doi: 10.1016/j.freeradbiomed.2018.04.579
Harmon, M.E., et al., Arsenic association with circulating oxidized low-density lipoprotein in a Native American community. J Toxicol Environ Health A. 2018. 81(13): p. 535-548. doi: 10.1080/15287394.2018.1443860
Järup, L., Hazards of heavy metal contamination. British Medical Bulletin, 2003. 68(1): p. 167-182. doi: 10.1093/bmb/ldg032.
Harris, S. and B.L. Harper, Lifestyles, diets, and Native American exposure factors related to possible lead exposures and toxicity. Environ Res, 2001. 86(2): p. 140-8. 10.1006/enrs.2001.4250
Minkler, M., Wallerstein, N., Community based participatory research for health. 2003, San Francisco: Jossey-Bass.
Severtson, D.J., L.C. Baumann, and J.A. Will, A Participatory Assessment of Environmental Health Concerns in an Ojibwa Community. Public Health Nursing, 2002. 19(1): p. 47-58. doi: 10.1046/j.1525-1446.2002.19007.x.
EPA, Superfund Soil Screening Guidance.
EPA, Heavy Metal Waste Regulation: Which Substances Make Up the RCRA 8 Metals? PEGEX Hazardous Waste Expert, 2015.
Shacklette, H.T.B., Josephine G. , Element Concentration in Soils and Other Surficial Materials of the Conterminous United States. U.S. Geological Survey Professional Paper, 1984: p. 63.
WHO, Permissible limits of heavy metals in soil and plants (Geneva: World Health Organization). World Health Organization 1996.
AIHA. IHSTAT - Statistical Analysis of Health & Safety Data. Available from: http://ohshub.com/ihstat-statistical-analysis-of-health-safety-data/.
Wild, C., The Wilcoxon Rank-Sum Test. Department of Statisitcs University of Auckland, 1997. 2020.
CDC, Arsenic Factsheet. National Biomonitoring program, 2017.
Mamtani, R.S., Penny; Dawood, Ismail; Cheema, Sohaila. Metals and Disease: A Global Primary Health Care Perspective. Journal of Toxicology, 2011. doi: 10.1155/2011/319136
Li, C., Zhou, K., Qin, W., Tian, C., Qi, M., Yan X., Han, W. (2019) A Review on Heavy Metals Contamination in Soil: Effects, Sources, and Remediation Techniques, Soil and Sediment Contamination: An International Journal, 28:4, 380-394, DOI: 10.1080/15320383.2019.1592108
Wuana, R.A.O., Felix E., Heavy Metals in Contaminated Soils: A Review of Sources, Chemistry, Risks and Best Available Strategies for Remediation. International Scholarly Research Notices, 2011. doi:10.5402/2011/402647
Britannica, E., Soil regions of the United States, showing areas covered by soil orders of the U.S. Soil Taxonomy. 2008, Encyclopaedia Britannica.
Alesksakhin, R.M. Radioactive contamination as a type of soil degradation. Eurasian Soil Sc. 42, 1386 (2009). https://doi.org/10.1134/S1064229309120096
Darko G, Boakye KO, Nkansah MA, et al. Human Health Risk and Bioaccessibility of Toxic Metals in Topsoils from Gbani Mining Community in Ghana. J Health Pollut. 2019;9(22):190602. Published 2019 May 20. doi:10.5696/2156-9614-9.22.190602
Toxicological Profile for Strontium. Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry.
Feemster, R. Wind River Indian Reservation study ties cancer to uranium site. 2014.
Porter CM, Wechsler AM, Naschold F, et al. Assessing health impacts of home food gardens with Wind River Indian Reservation families: protocol for a randomised controlled trial. BMJ Open 2019;9:e022731. doi: 10.1136/bmjopen-2018-022731
Lead Fact Sheet. CDC, 2013.
Balentine, B.L.W., Everett; Solomon, C., Permissible limit for metals. Metal limits.
EPA, Health Effects of Exposures to Mercury. 2020.
Qin, J.Z., Xuemei; Hao, Yaqiong; Wang, Qi; Fu, Haihui; Yu, Hongjin, Mercury in soil, vegetable and human hair in a typical mining area in China: Implication for human exposure. Journal of Environmental Science, 2017. doi:10.1016/j.jes.2017.05.018
Credo, J.e.a., Quantification of Elemental Contaminants in Unregulated Water across Western Navajo Nation. International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health — Open Access Journal, 2019. 16: p. 2727. doi: 10.3390/ijerph16152727
How to Cite
Copyright (c) 2021 Raquel Robello, Kaylin Lake, Rod Handy, Darrah Sleeth, Scott C. Collingwood, Camie Schaefer
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 4.0 International License.
The copyright holder for this article has granted JSR a license to display the article in perpetuity.