fowl, was determined in the coarse-grain-size frac-
were prepared. High concentration samples con-
tion that was obtained by sieving.
tained particulate white phosphorus in wet soil,
and concentrations were stable for over 100 days.
Walsh, M.E., C.M. Collins, and C.R. Racine (1995)
Low concentration soil samples containing white
Factors that determine the persistence of white
phosphorus dissolved in water or organic solvent
phosphorus particles in sediment. USA Cold
were unstable. When silt-size glass beads were
substituted for the soil, and a solution of white
Regions Research and Engineering Laboratory,
phosphorus in mineral oil added, concentrations
CRREL Report 9523.
were stable for over 2 months.
Remediation of sediments at Eagle River Flats,
a salt marsh contaminated with particles of white
Walsh, M.E., and C.M. Collins (1993) Distribution
phosphorus (P4), may require severe alterations of
of white phosphorus residues from the detonation
the wetland by dredging, draining, or covering.
of 81-mm mortar WP smoke rounds at an upland
However, some sediments may undergo decon-
site. USA Cold Regions Research and Engineering
tamination naturally in areas that are seasonally
Laboratory, Special Report 9318.
exposed to air. To predict the persistence of white
Tests were conducted to determine the spatial
phosphorus particles in sediments, a literature
distribution and short-term persistence of white
review was conducted for the physical and chemi-
phosphorus (WP) residue following the detona-
cal properties of white phosphorus. The persis-
tion of 81-mm mortar WP smoke rounds. At the
tence of millimeter-size white phosphorus parti-
point of impact, WP was driven into the soil matrix
cles was studied by laboratory and field experi-
to a depth of 20 cm, resulting in a WP soil concen-
ments. White phosphorus particles were found to
tration on the order of 100 g/g. Away from the
be persistent indefinitely in saturated sediments.
point of detonation, the amount of WP residue
In unsaturated sediments, loss was rapid (within
24 hours) at 20oC and retarded by low tempera-
deposited from the exploding shell decreased
exponentially, with most of the WP found within a
10-m radius. The WP was deposited in the form of
particles approximately 1 mm in length. Samples
Walsh, M.E., and B. Nadeau (1994) Preliminary
taken from craters four months after impact had
evaluation of analytical holding times for white
WP concentrations around 20 g/g, indicating
phosphorus in surface water. USA Cold Regions
that WP does not rapidly oxidize in a soil matrix.
Research and Engineering Laboratory, Special
A preliminary evaluation was made of the pre-
Walsh, M.E., C.M. Collins, R.N. Bailey, and C.L.
Grant (1997) Composite sampling of sediments
extraction analytical holding time for white phos-
contaminated with white phosphorus. USA Cold
phorus in surface water samples. The purpose of
Regions Research and Engineering Laboratory,
the study was to determine the feasibility of ship-
Special Report 9730.
ping samples from a field site to a laboratory prior
White phosphorus from exploded munitions is
to extraction into an organic solvent. An initial
a difficult contaminant to characterize in the envi-
screening study using spiked waters from four
ronment. Spatial heterogeneity of concentration
sources (reagent-grade water, well water, river
water, and salt marsh water) showed that white
estimates is extreme, varying over many orders of
phosphorus was stable in the two surface waters
magnitude for closely spaced discrete samples. To
for approximately 1 week, provided precautions
provide cost-effective data upon which decisions
were taken to minimize losses to volatilization.
may be made, two composite sampling methods
Significant losses were observed in the reagent-
were designed to aid in characterizing the site and
monitoring the remedial process for an area con-
grade water and the well water matrices. Follow-
taminated by white phosphorus. For each method,
ing an ASTM standard, a holding time of 6 days
closely spaced discrete samples were collected on
was determined for surface water samples main-
tained at 4C.
a grid pattern and pooled to form composites. The
composites were then divided by size fractions.
Mean white phosphorus concentrations were esti-
Walsh, M.E., C.R. Racine, C.M. Collins, C. Bou-
wkamp, and P.G. Thorne (1995) Simple field
mated for the fine-grain-size fraction that was
obtained by suspension with water. The presence
screening method for white phosphorus (P4) in
of highly toxic solid white phosphorus particles,
sediment. USA Cold Regions Research and Engi-
the form that may be ingested by feeding water-
neering Laboratory, Special Report 9525.