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Heavy metals in surface sediments of the intertidal Thai Binh Coast, Gulf of Tonkin, East Sea, Vietnam: distribution, accumulation, and contamination assessment
31/05/22 08:48AM
Lim Thi Duong, Bac Quang Nguyen, Cham Dinh Dao, et al. Environ Sci Pollut Res Int, 2022.
Abstract: Heavy metals contamination in sediments may endanger ecosystems and human health via the food chain. In fact, there is little to no understanding about heavy metal accumulation in surface sediment of one of the most economically important marine bodies for Vietnam, the Thai Binh Coast, where five large rivers co-discharge into the Gulf of Tonkin. Twenty-seven surface sediment samples were collected from the intertidal regions and analyzed for: arsenic (As), cadmium (Cd), chromium (Cr), copper (Cu), mercury (Hg), nickel (Ni), and zinc (Zn) using inductively coupled plasma mass spectroscopy (ICP-MS). The studied area exhibited a large spatial variation in the concentration of heavy metals, e.g., the dry sediment concentration of Cd was the least (0.05-0.49 mg.kg ), whereas that of Zn was the greatest (45.4-252 mg.kg ). Based on the geoaccumulation index ([Formula: see text]), most of the studied heavy metals were accumulated at low pollution levels, except four locations exhibited moderately and highly polluted levels of Hg with [Formula: see text] Hg values from 1.92 to 2.66. However, the high contamination factor value implicated that not only Hg but also all other detected heavy metals in this area resulted from anthropogenic activities along the coast and the river upstream. This implied the need for quick action from the government. In addition, numerous analytical methods were used to see the association between metals, total organic carbon (TOC), and particle size distribution, including Pearson correlation coefficient (P) and principal component analysis (PCA). Hg demonstrates lowest connection with TOC (P ~ 0) but individual heavy metal correlations are largely positive, with many reaching 1.0 (e.g., P = 0.89, P = 0.72, P = 0.76, and P = 0.72). From the PCA diagram, we can observe that those sampling points in the positive direction of PC1 were expected to have a high concentration of Cu, Zn, As, Ni while having extremely little sand content.