Effect of Navy chaff release on aluminum levels in an area of the Chesapeake Bay.
Ecotoxicol Environ Saf. 2002 Jun ;52(2):137-42. PMID: 12061831
Naval Health Research Center Detachment (Toxicology), Wright-Patterson Air Force Base, Ohio 45433-7903, USA. email@example.com
The U.S. Navy uses aluminized glass chaff as a passive countermeasure for radar-guided threats to aircraft and surface ships. Over the last 25 years, several hundred thousand pounds of aluminized chaff have been released during flight operations over a training area on the Chesapeake Bay. There is concern that these releases have resulted in the accumulation of significant amounts of aluminum in the soil and sediment of this training area. This study compares the exchangeable and monomeric aluminum content of sediment within the affected area with that of samples taken from outside the training area. We found a less than twofold increase in the content of organic monomeric aluminum in samples taken from the affected area versus background samples, whereas inorganic monomeric aluminum concentrations within the affected area were significantly lower than background. These results suggest that chaff releases have not resulted in a significant accumulation of aluminum in this training area.