Discipline: Biological Sciences
Subcategory: Biochemistry (not Cell and Molecular Biology and Genetics)
Room: Exhibit Hall A
Ebony Wiltz - Texas Southern Uviversity
Co-Author(s): Maruthi Sridhar Balaji Bhaskar Ph.D., Texas Southern University, Houston; Leanna Mack ,Texas Southern University, Houston; Titilope Bukunmi-Omidira, Texas Southern University, Houstonuthi Sridhar Balaji Bhaskar Ph.D., Texas Southern University, Houston; Leanna Mack ,Texas Southern University, Houston; Titilope Bukunmi-Omidira, Texas Southern University, Houston
Extensive urbanization of Houston and surrounding areas has been a significant impact on the ecology, environment and human health in the surrounding watersheds. Monitoring the Mercury (Hg) contamination along the bayous is very important because Hg is a well-known carcinogen and a potent neurotoxin, which accumulate in the fish and other aquatic organism affecting the ecological and human health. Contamination of Hg pose threat to fish, wildlife, and human health. The objective of this study is to analyze and compare the Hg concentrations of soil and water samples collected from various local watersheds of Houston using the Inductively Coupled Plasma Mass Spectrometry (ICPMS) and Direct Mercury Analyzer (DMA). Soil and water samples were collected in triplicate from several locations across the Houston watersheds of Brays Bayou, Greens Bayou, Hunting Bayou and Halls Bayou watersheds during Summer and Fall of 2017, which incidentally happen to be the pre- and post-Hurricane Harvey time period. Overall, our results indicated that the Hg data from the DMA is higher compared to the ICPMS data, as the instrument was more sensitive to the Hg concentrations in the soil and water media that were analyzed. The Hg contamination in the Halls bayou soils samples collected during Summer of 2017 averaged to 12.6 ppb as against 36.7 ppb collected during Fall of 2017, when analyzed with DMA. While the Hg concentration in soil samples recorded with ICPMS analyses came around 7.1 ppb for the summer, 2017 samples and 26.7 ppb for the Fall, 2017 samples. Our experience shows that the DMA analysis is less time consuming and easy to use, as it involves no extensive sample preparation like the ICPMS.
Funder Acknowledgement(s): This research was primarily supported by the National Science Foundation (NSF) through Texas Southern University (TSU) under the award numbers HRD-1622993, BCS-1831205, and HRD-1829184.
Faculty Advisor: Maruthi Sridhar Balaji Bhaskar Ph.D., firstname.lastname@example.org
Role: As a member of the Summer Undergraduate Research Experience I sampled for soil and water samples around the greater Houston area. I ran already prepared samples through X-ray fluorescence. I prepared and ran samples for the Direct Mercury Analyzer. I prepared samples for the Inductively Coupled Plasma Mass Spectrometry.