Metal distributions in New Orleans following hurricanes Katrina and Rita: A continuation study

George P. Cobb, Michael T. Abel, Thomas R. Rainwater, Galen P. Austin, Stephen B. Cox, Ronald J. Kendall, Eric J. Marsland, Todd A. Anderson, Blair D. Leftwich, John C. Zak, Steven M. Presley

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

27 Scopus citations


In late October 2005, twenty-seven metals were determined in soils and sediment layers deposited by floodwaters (flood sediments) within New Orleans, Louisiana. Samples originated from 43 sites along four transects, at an industrial canal, and near the Superdome. The sampling design encompassed flooded and nonflooded areas as well as differing economic strata within the city. Results from this effort confirmed findings of our previous study designed to quantify contaminant profiles in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina. The expanded sampling from this most recent investigation revealed that arsenic (As) and lead (Pb) concentrations exceeded United States Environmental Protection Agency (USEPA) soil screening criteria indiscriminately throughout the city. However, As and Pb concentrations were lower along St. Charles Avenue, an area largely unaffected by hurricane related flooding. Toxicant concentrations did not exceed soil screening criteria values for lead within any flood sediments or for 32 of 37 soil samples, but arsenic concentrations in 40 of 43 samples exceeded screening criteria.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)4571-4577
Number of pages7
JournalEnvironmental Science and Technology
Issue number15
StatePublished - Aug 1 2006


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