Bridging antimony knowledge gaps by assessing its behavior in a semi arid creek

Jessica L. Ruiz, Texas A and M University-Kingsville
Jianhong Ren, Texas A and M University-Kingsville
Thomas C. Vaughan, Texas A and M International University
G. Christopher Shank, University of Texas Marine Science Institute
Alfred Addo-Mensah, Texas A and M International University


Antimony (Sb) contamination in aquatic systems, due in large part to mining and smelting activities, is both an ecological and environmental concern. As will be discussed in the first section of this chapter, several knowledge gaps are hindering our complete understanding of antimony behavior in aquatic systems including a variety of issues relating to transport, sorption/desorption, speciation, and bioavailability and uptake of antimony. The second part of this chapter will summarize key results from recent Sb studies in a contaminated creek in a semi-arid environment and evaluate the contribution of these findings in filling some of the existing knowledge gaps in the understanding of antimony behavior. Results presented in section 2 include: an assessment of antimony concentrations in the water and sediment of this contaminated creek, an evaluation of the potential direct and indirect effects of rainfall on Sb cycling, chemical binding forms of antimony on streambed sediments and the implications for antimony mobility and bioavailability, and the potential effects of stream water chemistry on antimony release from contaminated sediment. Finally, preliminary bioavailability results of antimony uptake by the freshwater bivalve mollusk, Corbicula fluminea, will also be presented. © 2012 Nova Science Publishers, Inc. All rights reserved.