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Published: Kem. Ind. 64 (5-6) (2015) 255−262
Paper reference number: KUI-37/2014
Paper type: Original scientific paper
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Potentially Toxic Metal and Metalloid Fractionation Contamination in Sediments of Daya Bay, South China Sea

L. L. Cao, J. Yang, P. Wang, L. Wang, H. T. Tian, M. K. Zou and J. Xie


The metal profiles in sediments of the Daya Bay (DYB) in China were established using sequential extraction protocols proposed by the European Community Bureau of Reference (BCR). The surface sediment samples from 23 representative stations were collected in 2011 and were analysed to evaluate the mobility and bioavailability of a suite of potentially toxic metals (Cr, Cu, Ni, Zn, Pb and Cd) and metalloid (As). The obtained ranking order of migration and transformation, and the degree of pollution was Pb > Cd > Cu > Zn > Ni > Cr > As. Among these elements, Pb is considered to pose a serious threat to human health and ecological environment due to its significant percentage in non-residual form. The ratios of secondary and primary phases showed that studied sediments are moderately to heavily polluted with Cu and Zn, and Cd and Pb respectively. The levels of association between the variables (metal-metalloid) at each step of sequential extractions were evaluated with multivariate statistical analysis, including correlation analysis and principal components analysis. With these analyses, the possible sources of potential pollution were deduced. The correlation analysis revealed that Total Organic Carbon content is the most important influencing factor affecting the distribution of potentially toxic elements in Daya Bay. The principal components analysis (PCA) suggested that the studied elements in DYB area originate primarily from natural weathering and secondly from industrial wastewater and aquaculture waste water.

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toxic elements, metal fractionation, sequential extraction, risk assessment, sediment, Daya Bay