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United States Department of Agriculture

Agricultural Research Service

Research Project: BENEFITS AND RISKS OF USING WASTE FOUNDRY SAND FOR AGRICULTURAL AND HORTICULTURAL APPLICATIONS Title: Metals in Waste Foundry Sands: Assessment with Earthworms

Authors
item Dungan, Robert
item Dees, Nikki

Submitted to: Journal of Residuals Science & Technology
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: July 5, 2006
Publication Date: July 31, 2006
Citation: Dungan, R.S., Dees, N.H. 2006. Metals in waste foundry sands: assessment with earthworms. Journal of Residuals Science & Technology. 3:177-184.

Interpretive Summary: A total of 43 sets of waste sand were collected from ferrous and non-ferrous foundries in the eastern United States. The concentration of organic compounds known as polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs) and phenolics were determined. These compounds are known to be toxic to humans. Since there is interest in beneficially using waste foundry sands (WFSs) in geotechnical applications and as an aggregate in manufactured soils, it is essential that PAHs and phenolics be tested to ensure environmental protection. 2-Ring and 3-ring PAHs, such as anthracene, fluorene, naphthalene and phenanthrene were the most prevalent PAHs, as they were detected in > 79% of the WFSs. In general, however, naphthalene was found at the highest concentrations. For the phenolics, phenol was generally found at the highest concentration and was present in 91% of the WFSs. Information from this study will help states in developing or reviewing regulatory structures that will ensure environmental protection and encourage the beneficial use of WFSs.

Technical Abstract: A total of 43 sets of waste sand were collected from ferrous and non-ferrous foundries in the eastern United States. The concentrations of 16 polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs) and 17 phenolics were determined by gas chromatography-mass spectrometry after accelerated solvent extraction. Since there is interest in beneficially using waste foundry sands (WFSs) in geotechnical applications and as an aggregate in manufactured soils, it is essential that PAHs and phenolics be monitored to ensure environmental protection. Anthracene, fluorene, naphthalene and phenanthrene were the most prevalent PAHs, as they were detected in >79% of the WFSs. In general, naphthalene was found at the highest concentrations, ranging from 0.12 to as high as 48 mg kg-1. Based on Wisconsin’s beneficial use regulations, 9 of 43 WFSs would not meet Category 1 criteria, due to high levels of phenanthrene. For the phenolics, phenol was generally found at the highest concentration, followed by 2-methylphenol and then 3-and 4-methylphenol and 2,4-dimethylphenol. Phenol was present in 91% of the WFSs at concentrations ranging from 0.12 to 186 mg kg'1. Information from this study will help states in developing or reviewing regulatory structures that will ensure environmental protection and encourage the beneficial use of WFSs.

Last Modified: 11/27/2014
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