Katrina floodwaters not as toxic as feared

October 11, 2005

Researchers at Louisiana State University say the floodwaters that inundated New Orleans following Hurricane Katrina were not as toxic as feared.

LSU researchers say the flood water was similar in content to the city's normal storm water. The study, the first peer-reviewed scientific assessment of the water quality of the Katrina floodwaters, is good news for those who were directly exposed to the floodwaters.

However, the LSU scientists caution the same floodwaters that were pumped into Lake Pontchartrain contain high levels of some toxic metals, especially copper and zinc, and could pose a long-term danger to the area's aquatic life.

The findings will appear in the online issue of the American Chemical Society's journal Environmental Science & Technology.

Copyright 2005 by United Press International

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