You are here:
PERCHLORATE UPTAKE BY SALT CEDAR (TAMARIX RAMOSISSIMA) IN THE LAS VEGAS WASH RIPARIAN ECOSYSTEM
Urbansky*, E T., M L. Magnuson, C A. Kelty*, AND S. K. Brown. PERCHLORATE UPTAKE BY SALT CEDAR (TAMARIX RAMOSISSIMA) IN THE LAS VEGAS WASH RIPARIAN ECOSYSTEM. SCIENCE OF THE TOTAL ENVIRONMENT. Elsevier Science Ltd, New York, NY, 256(2-3):227-232, (2000).
Perchlorate ion (CIO4-) has been identified in samples of dormant salt cedar (Tamarix ramosissima) growing in the Las vegas Wash. Perchlorate is an oxidenat, but its reduction is kineticaly hindered. CXoncern over thyrpoid effects caused the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to add perchlorate to the drinking water Contaminant Candidate List (CCL). Beginning in 2001, utilities will look for pechlorate under the Unregulated Contaminants Monitoring Rule (UCMR). In wood samples acquired from the same plant growing in a contaminated stream, perchlorate concentrations were found as follows: 5-6 ug g-1 in dry twigs extending above the water and 300 ug g-1 in stalks immersed in the stream. Perchlorate was leached from samples of wood, and the resulting solutions were analyzed by ion chromatography after clean-up. The identification was confirmed by electrospray ionization mass spectrometry after complexation of perchlorate with decyltrimethylammonium cation. Because sale cedar is regarded as an invasive species, there are large scale programs aimed at eliminating it. However, this work suggests that salt cedar might play a role in the ecological distribution of perchlorate as an environmental contaminant. Consequently, a thorough investigation of the fate and transport of pechlorate in tamarisks is required to assess the effects that eradication might have on perchlorate-tainted riparian ecosystems, such as the Las vegas Wash. This is especially important since water from the wash enters Lake Mead and the Colorado River and has the potential to affect the potable water source of tens of millions of people as well as irrigation water used on a variety of crops, including much of the lettuce produced in the U.S.