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IN FERTILIZER MINERALS

urce of perchlorate contamination


Orris and G.J. Harvey
n congeners, and radi-
) August 1999 draft re-
however, does not ad-
ries. Preliminary lim-
urface waters.

he USGS and Canada. Playa crust material from Bolivia. Minerals include sylvite,
es from the Salar de la
Canada; and limestone halite, ulexite, and others.
endments. Phosphate
mples of North Atlan-
DISCUSSION
nized H2O in a 40-mL
orator overnight. The
Fertilizer is a heterogeneous material. Fertilizer is composed of varying amounts of nitrogen, po-
be. The samples were
tassium, phosphorus, and micro-nutrients from diverse sources. Potash and phosphorus are mined
through an On Guard
placed in 2-ml sample Sylvinite ore (halite + sylvite) from Carlsbad, New Mexico. products and nitrogen is most commonly fixed from the atmosphere although it can also be pro-
duced from naturally occurring deposits. Potash is a term for naturally occurring ores and manufac-
e samples using a Dio-
tured salts containing potassium in a water soluble form. Limited testing of potash products, potash
0 chromatography en-
ores, phosphate fertilizers, phosphate ores, urea, kelp, fish, bone, and blood meals has been conduct-
ating at 300 mA in ex- PRELIMINARY RESULTS ed. To date perchlorate has been detected in playa crust specimens obtained from the Salar de la La-
tion flow rate was set
guna in Boliva, in hanksite (KNa22(SO4)9(CO3)2Cl) from Searles Lake, California, and from potash
a were collected using Conc. Sample Extraction
Samples Dilution In Extract MDL Recoveris Weight Volume Conc. ore from Carlsbad, New Mexico and Saskatchewan, Canada. Perchlorate has also been found in kelp,
16 guard column (4.0
Factor (ppb) (ppb) (%) (kg) (L) (g/Kg) bloodmeal, and fishmeal but not bone meal. Perchlorate was not detected in phosphate ore, phos-
p column were used in
phate fertilizers, urea, and limestone from Utah and salt from the Great Salt Lake. Consumer salt
5mM NaOH at a flow Muriate Potash 1 ND 1 0.001 0.03 ND
Mission Chem 1 ND 1 0.001 0.03 ND products such as No Salt, Nu Salt Morton Lite Salt, Morton Salt Substitute, and Ohio Department of
d at 30 degrees C.
Miracle Grow 1 ND 1 0.001 0.03 ND Transportation road salt also contained no detectable perchlorate.
Franks Bonemeal 1 ND 1 0.001 0.03 ND It should be noted that the data presented here are preliminary and cannot be characterized as rep-
Franks Bloodmeal 1 5.4 1 111 0.001 0.03 0.161
Franks Bloodmeal, DUP 1 4.8 1 0.001 0.03 NA resentative of all potash minerals, phosphate ores, or commercial fertilizer products. Nevertheless
Fishmeal 1 9.2 1 0.001 0.03 0.276 the fact that perchlorate appears to be present in several potash ores from a variety of geographical
Fishmeal, DUP 1 11 1 84 0.001 0.03 NA and geological settings are intriguing. Not finding perchlorate in KCl and commercial muriate of po-
Miracid 1 ND 1 0.001 0.03 ND
Joebesi Fert Spikes 1 ND 1 0.001 0.03 ND tash suggest that perchlorate may exist as a trace component of these ores and may be removed as
Peters Pro Plant Food 1 ND 1 0.001 0.03 ND these ores and minerals are processed. Alternatively, these end products may be examples of the ap-
Tera Potash 1 ND 1 0.001 0.03 ND
parent highly variable content of perchlorate in naturally-occurrring mineral materials. Finding per-
"Tera Potash, DUP" 1 ND 1 0.001 0.03 ND
Great Salt Lake ppt 1 ND 1 0.001 0.03 ND chlorate in North Atlantic kelp at levels of 885 ppm suggests that perchlorate may be present in ma-