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ARS Home » Northeast Area » University Park, Pennsylvania » Pasture Systems & Watershed Management Research » Research » Publications at this Location » Publication #254349

Title: Fate and transport of arsenic from organoarsenicals fed to poultry

item Church, Clinton
item HILL, JANE - University Of Vermont
item ALLEN, ARTHUR - University Of Maryland Eastern Shore (UMES)

Submitted to: Book Chapter
Publication Type: Book / Chapter
Publication Acceptance Date: 8/6/2010
Publication Date: 4/20/2011
Citation: Church, C., Hill, J.E., Allen, A.L. 2011. Fate and transport of arsenic from organoarsenicals fed to poultry. In: He, Z, editor. Environmental Chemistry of Animal Manures. Hauppauge, NY: Nova Science Publishers. p. 415-426.

Interpretive Summary: An interpretive summary is not required.

Technical Abstract: Little is known about the fate of arsenic (As) in land-applied litter from chickens that have been fed roxarsone, an organic feed additive containing As. This chapter seeks to review the likelyhood of the biodegradation of roxarsone and the subsequent transport of As in runoff from a case study conducted on ditch drained soils of the poultry producing region of the Delmarva Peninsula that tracked As and phosphorus (P) export from seven drainage ditches over two water years (July 1, 2005 to June 30, 2007). Research on the biodegradation of roxarsone indicates that roxarsone is likely to degrade under primarily anaerobic conditions, yielding arsenate as the major product. In the case study, where flow was monitored from ditches draining both point and non-point sources, the results showed significant concentrations (greater than the U. S. EPA MCL), with clear associations between the nature of potential sources and the magnitudes of As and P observed. The two elements were highly correlated in flow from the ditch draining a litter storage shed (r =0.99), pointing to similar behavior under point source conditions, and in soils of the farm (r =0.99), highlighting the likely role of historical litter applications. However, As and P concentrations varied significantly between ditches and showed considerable temporal variability within ditches, with no clear seasonal trends or associations with current management strategies. The results suggest that similar management strategies might be effective for As and P point sources, but that field management practices geared toward controlling non-point source P losses may not readily transfer to the control of As losses.