Photo by V. Miller
Nov. 15, 2006
Arsenic in Soil
Arsenic in the Schools and the Students?
Nolan Kamitaki, 13, Hilo, Hawaii
Top Young Scientist of the Year, and National Institutes of Health Team Award, Discovery Channel Young Scientist Challenge, 2006
Project background: Nolan became concerned about environmental arsenic contamination after reading articles in a local newspaper about high arsenic concentrations in the community's soil. He wondered whether arsenic concentrations in people living in the area might reflect the high arsenic concentrations in the soil.
Tactics and results: Nolan took soil samples from the grounds of several local schools and hair samples from students who attended those schools. He analyzed the arsenic concentrations in the samples.
Although the concentrations of arsenic in the soil samples were frequently significantly higher than recommended levels, arsenic concentrations in the students' hair samples were within a safe range.
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