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2011 (Vol. 3, Issue: 4)
Article Information:

Mercury Pollution Studies of Some Rivers Draining the Bibiani-Anwiaso-Bekwai Mining Community of South Western Ghana

V.K. Nartey, L.K. Doamekpor, S. Sarpong-Kumankuma, T. Akabzaa, F.K. Nyame, J.K. Kutor and D. Adotey
Corresponding Author:  V.K. Nartey 

Key words:  Elemental mercury, gold mining, organic mercury, surface-water, sediments, total mercury,
Vol. 3 , (4): 375-384
Submitted Accepted Published
2011 February, 05 2011 March, 21 2011 June, 05
Abstract:

The project assessed the extent of mercury pollution of some rivers that drain the Bibiani-Anwiaso- Bekwai district which is a typical mining community in the south western part of Ghana. In the study, surfacewater and sediment samples were collected from seven streams that drain this mining community and analyzed for total mercury, organic mercury and elemental mercury. Mercury concentrations of non-filtered water was determined using the ICP-OES after reduction with stannous chloride (SnCl2). Physico-chemical parameters were also determined for the water samples. Sediment samples were pretreated and their mercury content determined using the same instrumental technique as for the water. Total mercury content of the water ranged between 0.125 to 1.341 μg/L while sediment values ranged between 0.169 to 1.739 mg/kg. In all cases except for one site, mercury levels in the sediment have been found to be significantly higher than the corresponding water column. Except for site SW7 (1.341 μg/L), total mercury in water has also been found to be lower than 1.0 μg/L, the WHO guideline value for drinking water. On the contrary, except for site ASUS (169 mg/kg), all sampled sediments recorded values that were above 0.2 mg/kg, the US-EPA guideline value for soils. Since sediments serve as sink for mercury and release the metal into water column with time, it can be concluded that these streams are polluted with mercury.
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  Cite this Reference:
V.K. Nartey, L.K. Doamekpor, S. Sarpong-Kumankuma, T. Akabzaa, F.K. Nyame, J.K. Kutor and D. Adotey, 2011. Mercury Pollution Studies of Some Rivers Draining the Bibiani-Anwiaso-Bekwai Mining Community of South Western Ghana.  Research Journal of Environmental and Earth Sciences, 3(4): 375-384.
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