Inflammation in Columbia Sturgeon from Smelter’s Slag


Inflammation in Columbia Sturgeon that ate Slag  

Published: 02/06/11 4:05 pm | Updated: 02/06/11 4:05 pm
SPOKANE, Wash. – A U.S. Geological Survey study has found chronic inflammation in the digestive tracks of juvenile sturgeon that ingested slag from Teck Resources‘ smelter along the Columbia River just north of the Canadian border.

The Spokesman-Review says 37 young sturgeon were studied after being captured from upper Lake Roosevelt in 2008. It says more study is needed to determine whether physical or chemical properties from the slag contributed to the inflammation in the bottom-feeding fish.

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency estimates that Teck’s lead smelter in Trail, British Columbia, dumped at least 23 million tons of slag into the Columbia over the past century. Teck stopped discharging slag into the river in 1995.

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