The 800 lb gorilla of heavy metal contamination in Utah is the Rio Tinto copper mine and smelter.
In the Rio Tinto dust cloud that frequently obscures our mountains is a heavy metal stew of lead, arsenic, cadmium. and mercury that ultimately permeates our air, water, and soil.   Even radioactive metals like uranium and thorium are found in Rio Tinto’s coal power plant emissions in low concentrations.  The mine is the nation’s third largest source of toxic elements released into the environment, and because of Rio Tinto Utah ranks third among all states and Salt Lake County ranks third among all counties.   Last year Forbes magazine ranked Salt Lake City as the ninth most toxic city in the country, primarily because of Rio Tinto.