The Effects of Heavy Metals in Our Ecosystem

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The Effects of heavy metals in our ecosystem

By Patrecia Redneck-Spang
Intro to Scientific Research 191
Blackfeet Community College
May 2, 2011


Upon doing research on heavy metals in our water ways I have come to realize that almost all heavy metals can be found in our rivers, streams and drinking water.
Aluminum, Arsenic, Chromium, Copper, Iron, Lead, Manganese, Nickel, Silver, and Zinc are all chemical elements. Chromium, Copper, Iron, Manganese, Nickel, Silver, and Zinc which are yellow on the periodic table are considered transitional metals. Aluminum and Lead which are light blue on the periodic table are considered other metals. Arsenic which is dark pink on the periodic table is considered metalloids.

All heavy metals exist in surface water in colloidal, particulate, and dissolved phases, although dissolved concentrations are generally low (Kennish, 1992). Heavy metals in surface water systems can be from natural or anthropogenic sources. Excess metal level in surface water may pose a health risk to humans and the environment (WATERSHEDSS, 1995).

Plants require a trace of iron, copper, manganese, boron, molybdenum, chlorine, zinc and nickel which are called micro-nutrients.

To test the river waters: from Rocky Mountain Range (Site 1, Cut Bank Creek; Site A Two Medicine River) to Sullivan Bridge (Site 3C, Marias River), for chemicals throughout the Blackfeet Reservation.

Traveled to each site throughout the Blackfeet Reservation with portable Hach 2800 portable spectrophotometer, pH meter, dissolved oxygen meter, and conductivity meter. Collected water and ran tests following protocols from manuals. The pH, dissolved oxygen, and conductivity meter had the probes placed directly in the water until a stable reading was shown.

Chemical Site list

Site 1 Cut Bank Creek
Site 2 Cut Bank Creek
Site A Two Medicine River
Site B Two Medicine River
3C Marias River

Results/ Data:...
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