Publications by authors named "Janae Csavina"

10 Publications

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Phytoremediation Reduces Dust Emissions from Metal(loid)-Contaminated Mine Tailings.

Environ Sci Technol 2018 05 27;52(10):5851-5858. Epub 2018 Apr 27.

Environmental and health risk concerns relating to airborne particles from mining operations have focused primarily on smelting activities. However, there are only three active copper smelters and less than a dozen smelters for other metals compared to an estimated 500000 abandoned and unreclaimed hard rock mine tailings in the US that have the potential to generate dust. The problem can also extend to modern tailings impoundments, which may take decades to build and remain barren for the duration before subsequent reclamation. We examined the impact of vegetation cover and irrigation on dust emissions and metal(loid) transport from mine tailings during a phytoremediation field trial at the Iron King Mine and Humboldt Smelter Superfund (IKMHSS) site. Measurements of horizontal dust flux following phytoremediation reveals that vegetated plots with 16% and 32% canopy cover enabled an average dust deposition of 371.7 and 606.1 g m y, respectively, in comparison to the control treatment which emitted dust at an average rate of 2323 g m y. Horizontal dust flux and dust emissions from the vegetated field plots are comparable to emission rates in undisturbed grasslands. Further, phytoremediation was effective at reducing the concentration of fine particulates, including PM, PM, and PM, which represent the airborne particulates with the greatest health risks and the greatest potential for long-distance transport. This study demonstrates that phytoremediation can substantially decrease dust emissions as well as the transport of windblown contaminants from mine tailings.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1021/acs.est.7b05730DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7025808PMC
May 2018

Hygroscopic Properties and Respiratory System Deposition Behavior of Particulate Matter Emitted By Mining and Smelting Operations.

Environ Sci Technol 2016 11 13;50(21):11706-11713. Epub 2016 Oct 13.

Mel and Enid Zuckerman College of Public Health, University of Arizona , Tucson, Arizona 85724, United States.

This study examines size-resolved physicochemical data for particles sampled near mining and smelting operations and a background urban site in Arizona with a focus on how hygroscopic growth impacts particle deposition behavior. Particles with aerodynamic diameters between 0.056-18 μm were collected at three sites: (i) an active smelter operation in Hayden, AZ, (ii) a legacy mining site with extensive mine tailings in Iron King, AZ, and (iii) an urban site, inner-city Tucson, AZ. Mass size distributions of As and Pb exhibit bimodal profiles with a dominant peak between 0.32 and 0.56 μm and a smaller mode in the coarse range (>3 μm). The hygroscopicity profile did not exhibit the same peaks owing to dependence on other chemical constituents. Submicrometer particles were generally more hygroscopic than supermicrometer ones at all three sites with finite water-uptake ability at all sites and particle sizes examined. Model calculations at a relative humidity of 99.5% reveal significant respiratory system particle deposition enhancements at sizes with the largest concentrations of toxic contaminants. Between dry diameters of 0.32 and 0.56 μm, for instance, ICRP and MPPD models predict deposition fraction enhancements of 171%-261% and 33%-63%, respectively, at the three sites.
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http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5089925PMC
http://dx.doi.org/10.1021/acs.est.6b03621DOI Listing
November 2016

Simulation of windblown dust transport from a mine tailings impoundment using a computational fluid dynamics model.

Aeolian Res 2014 Sep;14:75-83

Department of Chemical and Environmental Engineering, University of Arizona, Tucson, AZ, United States.

Mining operations are potential sources of airborne particulate metal and metalloid contaminants through both direct smelter emissions and wind erosion of mine tailings. The warmer, drier conditions predicted for the Southwestern US by climate models may make contaminated atmospheric dust and aerosols increasingly important, due to potential deleterious effects on human health and ecology. Dust emissions and dispersion of dust and aerosol from the Iron King Mine tailings in Dewey-Humboldt, Arizona, a Superfund site, are currently being investigated through in situ field measurements and computational fluid dynamics modeling. These tailings are heavily contaminated with lead and arsenic. Using a computational fluid dynamics model, we model dust transport from the mine tailings to the surrounding region. The model includes gaseous plume dispersion to simulate the transport of the fine aerosols, while individual particle transport is used to track the trajectories of larger particles and to monitor their deposition locations. In order to improve the accuracy of the dust transport simulations, both regional topographical features and local weather patterns have been incorporated into the model simulations. Results show that local topography and wind velocity profiles are the major factors that control deposition.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.aeolia.2014.02.008DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4303573PMC
September 2014

Use of lead isotopes to identify sources of metal and metalloid contaminants in atmospheric aerosol from mining operations.

Chemosphere 2015 Mar 12;122:219-226. Epub 2014 Dec 12.

Department of Atmospheric Sciences, University of Arizona, Tucson, AZ, USA.

Mining operations are a potential source of metal and metalloid contamination by atmospheric particulate generated from smelting activities, as well as from erosion of mine tailings. In this work, we show how lead isotopes can be used for source apportionment of metal and metalloid contaminants from the site of an active copper mine. Analysis of atmospheric aerosol shows two distinct isotopic signatures: one prevalent in fine particles (<1μm aerodynamic diameter) while the other corresponds to coarse particles as well as particles in all size ranges from a nearby urban environment. The lead isotopic ratios found in the fine particles are equal to those of the mine that provides the ore to the smelter. Topsoil samples at the mining site show concentrations of Pb and As decreasing with distance from the smelter. Isotopic ratios for the sample closest to the smelter (650m) and from topsoil at all sample locations, extending to more than 1km from the smelter, were similar to those found in fine particles in atmospheric dust. The results validate the use of lead isotope signatures for source apportionment of metal and metalloid contaminants transported by atmospheric particulate.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.chemosphere.2014.11.057DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4277909PMC
March 2015

Size-resolved dust and aerosol contaminants associated with copper and lead smelting emissions: implications for emission management and human health.

Sci Total Environ 2014 Sep 2;493:750-6. Epub 2014 Jul 2.

Department of Atmospheric Sciences, The University of Arizona, Tucson, AZ 85721, USA. Electronic address:

Mining operations, including crushing, grinding, smelting, refining, and tailings management, are a significant source of airborne metal and metalloid contaminants such as As, Pb and other potentially toxic elements. In this work, we show that size-resolved concentrations of As and Pb generally follow a bimodal distribution with the majority of contaminants in the fine size fraction (<1 μm) around mining activities that include smelting operations at various sites in Australia and Arizona. This evidence suggests that contaminated fine particles (<1 μm) are the result of vapor condensation and coagulation from smelting operations while coarse particles are most likely the result of windblown dust from contaminated mine tailings and fugitive emissions from crushing and grinding activities. These results on the size distribution of contaminants around mining operations are reported to demonstrate the ubiquitous nature of this phenomenon so that more effective emission management and practices that minimize health risks associated with metal extraction and processing can be developed.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.scitotenv.2014.06.031DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4137906PMC
September 2014

PARduino: a simple and inexpensive device for logging photosynthetically active radiation.

Tree Physiol 2014 Jun 16;34(6):640-5. Epub 2014 Jun 16.

National Ecological Observatory Network, Inc., 1685 38th St., Ste. 100, Boulder, CO 80301, USA.

Photosynthetically active radiation (PAR, 400-700 nm) is one of the primary controls of forest carbon and water relations. In complex terrain, PAR has high spatial variability. Given the high cost of commercial datalogging equipment, spatially distributed measurements of PAR have been typically modeled using geographic coordinates and terrain indices. Here, we present a design for a low-cost, field-deployable device for measuring and recording PAR built around an Arduino microcontroller-named PARduino. PARduino provides for widely distributed sensor arrays and tests the feasibility of using open-source, hobbyist-grade electronics for collecting scientific data. PARduino components include a quantum sensor, an EME Systems signal converter/amplifier and an Arduino Pro Mini microcontroller. Additional components include a real-time clock, a microSD Flash memory card and a custom printed circuit board. The components were selected for ease of assembly. We found strong agreement between the PARduino datalogger system and National Institute of Standards and Technology traceable sensors logged by an industry standard datalogger (slope = 0.99, SE < 0.01, P < 0.01; intercept = - 14.84, SE = 0.78, P < 0.01). The average difference between the two systems was 22.0 µmol m(-2) s(-1) with PARduino typically underestimating PAR. The average percentage difference between systems was 3.49%. On average, PARduino performed within the factory absolute calibration of the PAR sensor; however, larger errors occurred at low PAR levels. Using open-source technologies such as this can make it possible to develop a spatially distributed sensor network within the constraints of a typical research budget.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/treephys/tpu044DOI Listing
June 2014

Effect of wind speed and relative humidity on atmospheric dust concentrations in semi-arid climates.

Sci Total Environ 2014 Jul 27;487:82-90. Epub 2014 Apr 27.

Department of Atmospheric Sciences, The University of Arizona, Tucson, AZ 85721, United States. Electronic address:

Atmospheric particulate have deleterious impacts on human health. Predicting dust and aerosol emission and transport would be helpful to reduce harmful impacts but, despite numerous studies, prediction of dust events and contaminant transport in dust remains challenging. In this work, we show that relative humidity and wind speed are both determinants in atmospheric dust concentration. Observations of atmospheric dust concentrations in Green Valley, AZ, USA, and Juárez, Chihuahua, México, show that PM10 concentrations are not directly correlated with wind speed or relative humidity separately. However, selecting the data for high wind speeds (>4m/s at 10 m elevation), a definite trend is observed between dust concentration and relative humidity: dust concentration increases with relative humidity, reaching a maximum around 25% and it subsequently decreases with relative humidity. Models for dust storm forecasting may be improved by utilizing atmospheric humidity and wind speed as main drivers for dust generation and transport.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.scitotenv.2014.03.138DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4072227PMC
July 2014

Hygroscopic and chemical properties of aerosols collected near a copper smelter: implications for public and environmental health.

Environ Sci Technol 2012 Sep 17;46(17):9473-80. Epub 2012 Aug 17.

Department of Chemical and Environmental Engineering, University of Arizona, Tucson, Arizona 85721, United States.

Particulate matter emissions near active copper smelters and mine tailings in the southwestern United States pose a potential threat to nearby environments owing to toxic species that can be inhaled and deposited in various regions of the body depending on the composition and size of the particles, which are linked by particle hygroscopic properties. This study reports the first simultaneous measurements of size-resolved chemical and hygroscopic properties of particles next to an active copper smelter and mine tailings by the towns of Hayden and Winkelman in southern Arizona. Size-resolved particulate matter samples were examined with inductively coupled plasma mass spectrometry, ion chromatography, and a humidified tandem differential mobility analyzer. Aerosol particles collected at the measurement site are enriched in metals and metalloids (e.g., arsenic, lead, and cadmium) and water-uptake measurements of aqueous extracts of collected samples indicate that the particle diameter range of particles most enriched with these species (0.18-0.55 μm) overlaps with the most hygroscopic mode at a relative humidity of 90% (0.10-0.32 μm). These measurements have implications for public health, microphysical effects of aerosols, and regional impacts owing to the transport and deposition of contaminated aerosol particles.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1021/es302275kDOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3435440PMC
September 2012

A review on the importance of metals and metalloids in atmospheric dust and aerosol from mining operations.

Sci Total Environ 2012 Sep 4;433:58-73. Epub 2012 Jul 4.

Department of Chemical and Environmental Engineering, The University of Arizona, Tucson, AZ 85721, United States.

Contaminants can be transported rapidly and over relatively long distances by atmospheric dust and aerosol relative to other media such as water, soil and biota; yet few studies have explicitly evaluated the environmental implications of this pathway, making it a fundamental but understudied transport mechanism. Although there are numerous natural and anthropogenic activities that can increase dust and aerosol emissions and contaminant levels in the environment, mining operations are notable with respect to the quantity of particulates generated, the global extent of area impacted, and the toxicity of contaminants associated with the emissions. Here we review (i) the environmental fate and transport of metals and metalloids in dust and aerosol from mining operations, (ii) current methodologies used to assess contaminant concentrations and particulate emissions, and (iii) the potential health and environmental risks associated with airborne contaminants from mining operations. The review evaluates future research priorities based on the available literature and suggest that there is a particular need to measure and understand the generation, fate and transport of airborne particulates from mining operations, specifically the finer particle fraction. More generally, our findings suggest that mining operations play an important but underappreciated role in the generation of contaminated atmospheric dust and aerosol and the transport of metal and metalloid contaminants, and highlight the need for further research in this area. The role of mining activities in the fate and transport of environmental contaminants may become increasingly important in the coming decades, as climate change and land use are projected to intensify, both of which can substantially increase the potential for dust emissions and transport.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.scitotenv.2012.06.013DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3418464PMC
September 2012

Metal and Metalloid Contaminants in Atmospheric Aerosols from Mining Operations.

Water Air Soil Pollut 2011 Oct;221(1-4):145-157

Department of Chemical and Environmental Engineering, The University of Arizona, Tucson, AZ 85721.

Mining operations are potential sources of airborne metal and metalloid contaminants through both direct smelter emissions and wind erosion of mine tailings. The warmer, drier conditions predicted for the Southwestern US by climate models may make contaminated atmospheric dust and aerosols increasingly important, with potential deleterious effects on human health and ecology. Fine particulates such as those resulting from smelting operations may disperse more readily into the environment than coarser tailings dust. Fine particles also penetrate more deeply into the human respiratory system, and may become more bioavailable due to their high specific surface area. In this work, we report the size-fractionated chemical characterization of atmospheric aerosols sampled over a period of a year near an active mining and smelting site in Arizona. Aerosols were characterized with a 10-stage (0.054 to 18 μm aerodynamic diameter) multiple orifice uniform deposit impactor (MOUDI), a scanning mobility particle sizer (SMPS), and a total suspended particulate (TSP) collector. The MOUDI results show that arsenic and lead concentrations follow a bimodal distribution, with maxima centered at approximately 0.3 and 7.0 μm diameter. We hypothesize that the sub-micron arsenic and lead are the product of condensation and coagulation of smelting vapors. In the coarse size, contaminants are thought to originate as aeolian dust from mine tailings and other sources. Observation of ultrafine particle number concentration (SMPS) show the highest readings when the wind comes from the general direction of the smelting operations site.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s11270-011-0777-xDOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3576728PMC
October 2011