SAMPLING FOR RADIONUCLIDES AND OTHER TRACE SUBSTANCES. Page: 4 of 26
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these objectives and comment on the available technology.
2. BACKGROUND AND NATURE OF PROBLEMS
Table 1 provides a partial list of issues involved in the recent
widespread concern about our environment. This list is not claimed to
be complete nor to assign a particular importance to various items. It
should help to identify some of the different kinds of sampling problems
likely to be involved and to suggest how objectives may vary. Table 2.
supplies a categorization of man's concerns with natural environments and
thus provides another basis for considering sampling and objectives.
Among the many concerns suggested by Tables 1 and 2, we will here
mostly concentrate on those having to do with the distribution and re-
distribution of some trace substance in a natural system. For the most
part we will assume that substance to be a contaminant introduced by some
human activity. A pesticide, like DDT, provides a concrete example. We
note that the substantial International Biological Program "Analysis of
Ecosystems" effort in the study of the productivity of various biomes
involves very similar kinds of investigations, but the trace substances
.there are largely nutrients. Contaminants can, of course, also be nutrients,
as is all too evident in many of our lakes and streams.
It is convenient to consider two broad classes of contamination --
global and local. Excepting fdilout radionuclides, it is only quite recently
that the global aspects of pollution have begun to be appreciated. It
now is becoming apparent that substances like DDT and the PCB's (polybi-
chlorinated phenyls) may be redistributed by atmospheric processes and thus
be as all-pervasive as the radionuclides produced by weapons testing in the
1950's and early 1960's. DDT is now found in the biota of the Arctic and the
Antarctic, and scattered instances of real damage to the biota leads to -t
considering it as a threat to our living resources.
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Eberhardt, L.L. SAMPLING FOR RADIONUCLIDES AND OTHER TRACE SUBSTANCES., report, October 31, 1972; Richland, Washington. (digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc1032433/m1/4/: accessed November 12, 2018), University of North Texas Libraries, Digital Library, digital.library.unt.edu; crediting UNT Libraries Government Documents Department.