Associate Professor Jim Gawel quoted in News Tribune Asarco Retrospective

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"I was surprised to see how much [arsenic] got loaded into these systems."--Associate Professor Jim Gawel

The research work of Associate Professor Jim Gawel was referenced in a recent News Tribune special report, "Three decades after the Asarco smelter shutdown, its toxic legacy surprises Tacoma newcomers," by Derrick Nunnally, The News Tribune, Nov. 7, 2015.

The article explains how the effects of the Asarco copper smelter are ongoing and taking some new residents by surprise. The article references the 2013 analysis by Gawel and School of IAS staff member Jessica A. Asplund, "Arsenic and lead distribution and mobility in lake sediments in the south-central Puget Sound watershed: The long-term impact of a metal smelter in Ruston, Washington, USA," published in the academic journal, Science of The Total Environment.

In the News Tribune article, Gawel explains how lakes in populated areas are particularly susceptible to sedimentary arsenic contamination. He is now beginning a two-year study of arsenic absorption by microsopic organisms in lakes affected by Asarco-polluted sediments.

Read the complete News Tribune special report here (NetID login required).

Learn more about Gawel's work by following the School of IAS on Twitter.

Follow the School of IAS Science and Mathematics (SAM) division blog.


Written by: 
Meridith Hatch / November 9, 2015