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Selenium (Se) and Phosphate Mining in Southeast Idaho

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Presentation on theme: "Selenium (Se) and Phosphate Mining in Southeast Idaho"— Presentation transcript:

1 Selenium (Se) and Phosphate Mining in Southeast Idaho
Smoky Canyon Mine. Taken from, WindowsLiveWriter/AsgoesIdahosogoestheNation_11818/PanelF_after_2.jpg

2 Phosphorous (P) from phosphate ores
Found in Fertilizers Used in flares and match tips Used in Pesticides and herbicides for agriculture Also found in: toothpaste, soda pop, detergents, and roundup.

3 Match tips containing phosphoroushttp://img. ehowcdn
Match tips containing phosphorous Taken by, Roundup containing prosperous. Taken by, Toothpaste containing phosphorous. Taken by, Soda pop containing phosphorus. Taken by,

4 Phosphate mines east of Soda Springs
Mines in Caribou County. Taken by, Eastern Idaho phosphate mines. Taken by,

5 Selenium in the water Selenium in Monsanto's runoff stream. Taken from,

6 Cause: Orphan (inactive) mines not closed properly
Selenium rich mine tailings dumped near streams Top soil non existent in some reclaimed sites

7 Reclaimed Phosphate mine
Abandoned mine in southeast Idaho. Taken by,

8 Result Plants absorb the selenium from streams and surface runoff
Some cows, sheep, fish, and wildlife diagnosed with chronic selenosis (selenium poisoning) Humans consume fish and wildlife containing high levels of selenium

9 Cows with selenium poisoning
Left: cow died from selenium poisoning. Taken from, Right: cow with chronic selenosis. Taken by,

10 Risk to humans Selenium occurs naturally in our bodies, however when concentrated into high doses can lead to Chronic Selenosis (selenium poisoning) and even death Drinking water derived from contaminated streams in the area may be harmful due to high levels of selenium Consuming Fish, wildlife, and domestic animals that graze in pastures near contaminated streams may also be harmful if Selenium levels are great enough

11 Pros and Cons of mining phosphate in Southeast Idaho
Fertilizers Selenium released into local water system Herbicides and Pesticides Harmful to landscape Foods Killing plants and animals - Chronic selenosis (Selenium poisoning) Toothpaste and soap detergents Humans consuming plants and wildlife rich in Selenium may be harmful

12 Did you know Many mines have been in violation of the clean water act for nearly a decade from high selenium levels. 5 Phosphate mine companies in Southeast Idaho: J.R. Simplot Company, Monsanto, Rhodia, NuWest Industries (Agrium), and Astaris (formally FMC) produce more than 5.4 million metric tons of ore per year The BLM (Bureau of Land Management) is still accepting new mine proposals for the area 3 of the approximately orphan mines are now superfund sites (Smoky Canyon Mine, Valley Mine, and South Rasmussen Ridge Mine) all located in Caribou County

13 References Buck, Jones, Brian, Jeffery. "Interagency/Industry coordination at phosphate mines in Southeastern Idaho. " N.p., n.d. Web. 4 Oct <>. "Idaho: Phosphate Mining - Poisoning Lands, Waters, Wildlife. " N.p., n.d. Web. 4 Oct < d=287 Blanchard, Tom. "Hard rock and Phosphate Mining in Idaho. " March 2002, n.d. Web. 4 Oct < Rpt.pdf>.

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