Geothermal features in the Yellowstone National Park contain up to several milligram per liter of aqueous arsenic. Part of this arsenic is volatilized and released into the atmosphere. Total volatile arsenic concentrations of 0.5-200 mg/m3 at the surface of the hot springs were found to exceed the previously assumed nanogram per cubic meter range of background concentrations by orders of magnitude. Speciation of the volatile arsenic was performed using solid-phase micro-extraction fibers with analysis by GC-MS. The arsenic species most frequently identified in the samples is (CH3)2AsCl, followed by (CH3)3As, (CH3)2AsSCH3, and CH3AsCl2 in decreasing order of frequency. This report contains the first documented occurrence of chloro- and thioarsines in a natural environment. Toxicity, mobility, and degradation products are unknown. ?? 2006 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
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Speciation of volatile arsenic at geothermal features in Yellowstone National Park