Student Research: Sarah Gene Weppner

, , 2001
Faculty Advisor: John C. Kissel

Farm Exposure to Deposited Arsenic and Lead on Vashon/Maury Island


The current study was designed to test the hypothesis that increased exposure to soils due to farming activities and lifestyle and consumption of produce grown in arsenic contaminated soils will result in increased urinary arsenic levels among farmers and their family members. Biological and environmental samples collected from Vashon/Maury Island were analyzed for lead and arsenic in order to fulfill the following specific objectives:

1) To determine links between environmental and biological arsenic concentrations in soil, housedust, produce and urine samples; and
2) To determine links between environmental concentrations of lead in soil, housedust and produce samples; and
3) To determine if seasonal differences in farming activity affect lead and arsenic concentrations found in environmental samples and arsenic levels found in biological samples; and
4) To determine if produce grown in Vashon/Maury Island soils exhibit elevated lead and arsenic contanet when compared with produce grown off the island.