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Diss Factsheets

Environmental fate & pathways

Monitoring data

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Administrative data

monitoring data
Type of information:
experimental study
Adequacy of study:
key study
Study period:
before 2005
4 (not assignable)
Rationale for reliability incl. deficiencies:
other: Study well documented. Study meets generally accepted scientific principles. Study acceptable for assessment

Data source

Reference Type:
Geochemistry of extremely alkaline (pH > 12) ground water in slag-fill aquifers
Roadcap GS, Kelly WR, Bethke CM
Bibliographic source:
Ground Water 43(6), 806-816

Materials and methods

Principles of method if other than guideline:
Analytical determination of pH and several ions on site
GLP compliance:
not specified
Type of measurement:
concentration at contaminated site
ground water

Test material

Constituent 1
Reference substance name:
Slags, steelmaking
EC Number:
EC Name:
Slags, steelmaking
Cas Number:
Molecular formula:
~ Al(n)Ca(m)Fe(o)Mg(p)Si(q)O(3n/2+m+o+p+2q)
Aluminium-Calcium- Iron-Magnesium-Silicium oxide equivalent
Details on test material:
Aquifers contaminated by steelmaking slags used as filling materials for wetlands;
groundwater beneath closed steel mills and slag dumps

Results and discussion

United States (the)
Lake Calumet region, Chicago, Illinois
Substance or metabolite:
other: pH
<= 12.8 other: pH
Remarks on result:
other: large-scale infilling of wetlands with steelmaking slag
Details on results:
At most sites dominating ions were Ca2+ and OH- in equilibrium with Ca(OH)2. In water bodies with intensive contact with air, calcium carbonate (calcite) was found.

Any other information on results incl. tables

Metals present in the slags (Fe, Mn) were oxidized forming more stable oxides and sulfides, and did not accumulate in elevated concentrations in the groundwater.

Applicant's summary and conclusion

In the vicinity of former steel mills, slag dumps, and infillings of wetlands, high pH values in the ground water may occur
Executive summary:

In the Lake Calumet region, Chicago, Illinois, 4 contaminated sites were examined. These sites were former steel mills, slag dumps, and a large-scale infilling of wetlands. Due to the presence of Ca2+ ions and OH- ions in equilibrium with the groundwater at these sites the groundwater was basic (up to pH 12.8 at one site), but did not contain toxic levels of heavy metals.