US-Mexico Binational Center principal investigators, Dr. Diana Meza Figueroa and Dr. Raina Maier (UA SRP Associate Director) recently had their manuscript entitled, “The impact of unconfined mine tailings in residential areas from a mining town in a semi-arid environment: Nacozari, Sonora, Mexico” accepted for publication in Chemosphere. Two Binational Center fellows (Jacinto Rivera and Alberto Campillo), one former UA SBRP trainee (Christopher Grandlic), and members of the Sonoran Remedial Project (Margarita de la O-Villanueva, Alan Moreno-Zazueta, and Ricardo Anaya) are also involved in the study. These investigators are studying the local geology, hydrology, and social networks that exist in the area. This Binational Center research project is a superb example of the scientific and collective benefit of collaborative binational research.
Through the leveraging of existing funds provided by the NIEHS SRP and the US Environmental Protection Agency, the project has received additional support from the Border Environmental Cooperation Commission, Grupo Mexico, Mexico’s Secretariat of the Environment and Natural Resources, Sonora’s Commission for Ecology and Sustainable Development, and the Municipality of Nacozari de Garcia.
The research objective was to study the metal content in the mine tailings located in Nacozari de Garcia, Sonora, Mexico as well as salts, and how this impacts adjacent residential areas. Data regarding metal content was collected in mine tailings, efflorescent salts, soils, road dust, and residential soils. It was concluded that climatic factors (e.g. wind and precipitation) impact the distribution of metals, especially the seasonally formation of salts on tailings, in this semi-arid region due to low vegetative cover.
Please join the UA SRP and Binational Center in congratulating the Drs. Meza Figueroa and Maier and the Sonoran Remedial Project team.
Meza-Figueroa, D., Maier RM, et al. The impact of unconfined mine tailings in residential areas from a mining town in a semi-arid environment: Nacozari, Sonora, Mexico. Chemosphere (2009), doi:10.1016/j.chemosphere.2009.04.068