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Anthropogenic Sources of Heavy Metals in the Indian Ocean Coast of Kenya



Water and surface sediment samples from Rivers Sabaki, Ramisi and Vevesi that flow into the Indian Ocean coast of Kenya were analysed for heavy metals. The sediment concentrations of exchangeable cations (in μg/g) for Co, Cu, Mn, Ni, Pb, Sn and Zn ranged from 0.10 to 506.75 (for Mn at Sabaki), constituting between 2% and 20% of the total metal concentrations obtained by digestion with strong acid. Cu, Mn, Ni, Pb and Zn were more leachable with 0.1 N HCl. The total dissolved metal in water and the total sediment concentrations for Ag, Cd, Co, Cr, Cu, Mn, Ni, Pb, Sn and Zn are given in the text. For dissolved metals, the metal/Mn ratios indicated higher concentrations of Ag in Sabaki River, Cd in Ramisi, Ni in Sabaki and Pb in Ramisi, respectively. In sediments, the metal/Mn ratios showed higher enrichment of Ag in Ramisi, Cd in Sabaki and Vevesi, and Zn in Sabaki, respectively. Enrichment factors showed elevated levels of Cd, Pb and Zn in sediment in River Sabaki and River Vevesi that were due to anthropogenic inputs through Athi River. The total dissolved metal concentration ranges for the three rivers were comparable with those ranges reported in rivers in South Africa but the sediment concentrations were below those of rivers in Europe and Asia where anthropogenic addition of some of the toxic elements such as Cu, Pb and Cd is evidently higher.



Bulletin of Environmental Contamination and ToxicologySpringer Journals

Published: Oct 1, 2009

DOI: 10.1007/s00128-009-9807-4

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