Analysis of a Few Heavy Metals in Buckingham Canal water, Chennai, Tamil Nadu, India

Abstract

Rapid industrialization has led to contamination of natural water with heavy metals due to dumping of untreated wastes into the aquatic habitats. The accumulation of metals in an aquatic environment has direct consequences to man and to the ecosystem also. These heavy metals are toxic pollutants, non-biodegradable and present the cumulative effect to the food chain, threatening human and animal health. Environmental pollution, particularly water pollution by toxic heavy metal is the result of several industrial activities, and its control has been a challenge. Therefore, in the present study the water samples of Buckingham canal, Chennai, Tamil Nadu, India were analyzed for the presence of heavy metals from March 2011 to February 2012. The heavy metal analysis of Buckingham canal water samples revealed that some of the heavy metals analyzed were above the toxic metal permissible limit. Chromium, copper, iron, lead and zinc values ranged from 0.006 to 0.012, 1.04 to 1.34, 0.23 to 1.75, 0.013 to 0.035 and 0.125 to 1.6mg/L respectively. Heavy metal pollution affects not only aquatic organisms, but also public health as a result of bioaccumulation in food chain. Therefore, contamination of freshwater with heavy metals causes devastating effect on ecological balance of the aquatic environment and on the other hand the diversity of aquatic organisms becomes limited with the extent of pollution.

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