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Accumulation and risk assessment of sedimentary trace metals in response to industrialization from the tributaries of Fuyang River System

Tang, Wenzhong, Zhang, Hong, Shan, Baoqing, Li, Shanshan
Environmental earth sciences 2015 v.73 no.5 pp. 1975-1982
biodiversity, cadmium, case studies, chromium, copper, ecosystems, industrialization, lead, nickel, pollution, risk, risk assessment, rivers, sediments, sewage, tanneries, wastewater, watersheds, zinc, China
Three tributaries of the Fuyang River System, North China (Shaocun River-SR, Wangyang River-WR and Xiao River-XR), were selected for a case study evaluating the effect of industrialization on the accumulation of sedimentary trace metals (Cd, Cr, Cu, Ni, Pb and Zn), as well as the potential ecological risk (PER). This study showed that different pollution sources resulted in varying sedimentary trace metal characteristics and caused tremendously high metal contents. SR had high mean sedimentary Cr (1,588 mg/kg) and Zn (958 mg/kg) contents due to tannery wastewater discharge, while high mean contents of Zn (493 mg/kg) and Pb (481 mg/kg) were observed in the sediments from WR which received pharmaceutical wastewater, and high Cr (822 mg/kg) and Zn (695 mg/kg) contents were attributed to domestic sewage, and industrial wastewater effluent to XR. The highest mean content of Cd (6.69 mg/kg) was observed in XR, Cr (1,588 mg/kg) in SR and Pb (481 mg/kg) in WR. Enrichment factors indicated that Cd in XR, Pb in WR and Cr in SR were enriched largely due to the fast industrialization in the watershed, with the average values of 47.8, 37.0 and 17.6, respectively. The calculation of comprehensive PER indices revealed that there was serious ecological risk in XR due to high Cd contents, whereas moderate risk existed in WR and low risk in SR. Hence, sedimentary trace metal pollution resulting from regional industrialization should be taken into consideration seriously with respect to aquatic ecosystem biodiversity and ambient quality.