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Evaluation of metal bioavailability in the Tega River watershed sediments in Southern Brazil

Journal of Environment & Biotechnology Research, Vol. 6, No. 3, Pages 248-259, July 2017

Michele Schmitz, Marcelo Giovanela, Vania Elisabete Schneider


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ABSTRACT

Anthropogenic activities have an impact on water resources, especially due to industrial effluent releases. Sediments are the main component of pollutant accumulation, particularly for metals such as lead, cadmium, chromium, zinc and copper. In view of these facts, this work aimed to evaluate the behavior of a hydric body in the municipality of Caxias do Sul (southern Brazil) by analyzing the metal bioavailability in the Tega River watershed sediments and water column at five sampling points. The obtained results showed that the metal concentrations in sediment samples were higher than the values for surface water samples, especially for Cu, Ni, Zn and Cr. Moreover, the largest metal concentrations in the sediments were observed at sampling points 1 and 2, which were located directly in the urban area of the municipality of Caxias do Sul, receiving releases of industrial and domestic effluents, which also possessed the worst water quality indexes. At the other sampling points, the data revealed better water quality indexes and lower metal concentrations, except for sampling point 3, which drains water from the municipality’s industrial district. This municipality is Brazil’s second largest metal-mechanic industrial state, making this activity’s contribution to the level of metal ions at the studied hydric body evident, which highlights the importance of monitoring the quality of water and sediments and promoting an efficient control over the local pollution sources.
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Journal of Environment and Biotechnology Research
Volume 6, Number 3, 2017, pp. 248-259
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