Arsenic Toxicity in the Spokane River

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Publication Date

Spring 2017


The Spokane River flows 90 miles from Lake Coeur d'Alene in northern Idaho through Spokane, WA and ultimately empties into the Columbia River. Sediments of Lake Coeur d'Alene are contaminated with tailings from nearly a century of unregulated mining activites in the Coeur d'Alene River watershed and contain toxic heavy metals, including arsenic, at extremely elevated concentrations. These metals are linked to health problems including brain and nerve dmage in children. At each key point where arsenic is located, a bacteria called Shewanella sp. strain ANA-3 is also present.

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