Contamination status and potential release of trace metals in a mangrove forest sediment in Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam

Tran Thi Thu DungTong My LinhTran Bích ChauTruong Minh HoangRudy Swennen & Valerie Cappuyns 


Can Gio district is located in the coastal area of Ho Chi Minh City, southern Vietnam. Discharge of wastewater from Ho Chi Minh City and neighboring provinces to the rivers of Can Gio has led to concerns about the accumulation of trace metals (As, Cu, Cr, Ni, Pb, and Zn) in the coastal sediments. The main objective of this study was to assess the distribution of As, Cu, Cr, Ni, Pb, and Zn in surface and core sediments and to evaluate the contamination status in relation to local background values, as well as the potential release of these selected trace metals from sediments to the water environment. Sediment characteristization, including determination of fine fraction, pH, organic matter, and major elements (Al, Fe, Ca, K, Mg, and S), was carried out to investigate which parameters affect the trace metal enrichment. Fine fraction and Al contents were found to be the controlling proxies affecting the distribution of trace metals while other sediment characteristics did not show any clear influence on trace metals’ distribution. Although As concentrations in the sediments were much higher compared to its reference value in other areas, the enrichment factor based on local background values suggests minor contamination of this element as well as for Cr, Cu, and Pb. Risk assessment suggested a medium to very high risk of Mn, Zn, and Ni under acidification. Of importance is also that trace metals in sediments were not easily mobilized by organic complexation based on their low extractabilities by ammonium-EDTA extraction.

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