Arsenic pollution in Patos lagoon estuarine sediments, Brazil

Mirlean, Nicolai; Andrus, Vlad; Baisch, Paulo Roberto Martins; Griep, Gilberto Henrique; Casartelli, Maria Regina de Oliveira


Arsenic distribution in sediments of the Mirim–Patos lagoonal system is investigated. Deposits of fresh water Mirim Lagoon and those of the fresh water part of the Patos Lagoon contain 2.5 and 7.7 mgkg 1, respectively, on average of total arsenic. In contrast, estuarine sediments of the Patos Lagoon are evidently contaminated by arsenic in high concentrations (up to 50 mg kg 1), and about 80% of the arsenic there is found in a bioavailable form. Analytical data coupled with direct, visual observations of estuarine water contamination by raw phosphorites and fertilizers suggest that the major source of arsenic in the estuarine sediments originated from the fertilizer industry.

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