Title: Response to Comment on "Sphagnum Mosses from 21 Ombrotrophic Bogs in the Athabasca Bituminous Sands Region Show no Significant Atmospheric Contamination of “Heavy Metals”"
Authors: SHOTYK W.BELLAND ReneDUKE JohnKEMPTER HeikeKRACHLER MICHAELNOERNBERG TommyPELLETIER RickVILE MelanieWIEDER KelmanZACCONE ClaudioZHANG Shuangquan
Citation: ENVIRONMENTAL SCIENCE & TECHNOLOGY vol. 49 p. 6354-6357
Publisher: AMER CHEMICAL SOC
Publication Year: 2015
JRC N°: JRC94742
ISSN: 0013-936X
URI: http://publications.jrc.ec.europa.eu/repository/handle/JRC94742
DOI: 10.1021/acs.est.5b01229
Type: Articles in periodicals and books
Abstract: Blais and Donahue (2015) draw attention to many contemporary environmental issues and concerns regarding the industrial development of the Athabasca Bituminous Sands (ABS), most of which are outside of the scope of our original study (Shotyk et al., 2014). Here we restrict our response to the remarks they made which actually apply to our paper. The focus of our paper was the abundance and spatial variation in concentrations of “heavy metals” (selected chalcophile elements namely Ag, Cd, Pb, Sb, and Tl) as well as V, Ni and Mo (the three elements which are well known to be enriched in bitumen). We compared the concentrations of these elements in Sphagnum moss with those of Th, a conservative, lithophile element which was taken to reflect the abundance of mineral dust particles in the mosses. Concern was expressed by Blais and Donahue for our analysis and interpretation, in particular the use of average concentrations for each sampling location, the variation in metal concentrations with distance from industry, and the contribution of mineral dust particles to the heavy metal concentrations.
JRC Directorate:Nuclear Safety and Security

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