Dr. Eric Betterton and his “dust group” have recently published a review article, with UA SRP trainee Janae Csavina as lead author. Entitled, “A review on the importance of metals and metalloids in atmospheric dust and aerosol from mining operations,” the article highlights the state of the science and what methodologies are being used to study this field, as well as identifying risks of health and environmental impacts. It evaluates future research priorities and discusses the potential for an increased role of mining operations in fate and transport of environmental contaminants as climate change and land use are projected to intensify.
The UA “dust group” is currently focusing on the Iron King Mine Humboldt Smelter Superfund Site in Dewey-Humboldt, AZ. Project investigators Drs. Eric Betterton and Eduardo Sáez and their team have two 10-meter-high dust flux towers at the site, which are designed to measure meteorological parameters and vertical dust fluxes from the metals-contaminated tailings. Near-real time measurements of dust concentrations, wind speed, wind direction, temperature, soil surface temperature, relative humidity, and precipitation can now be accessed via the internet (click here.)