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Atomic Absorption Spectrometric Determination of Chromium, Copper, Lead, Mercury, and Zinc in Sediments Collected in Bayou d'Inde, Southwestern Louisiana

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The concentrations of the metals chromium (Cr), copper (Cu), lead (Pb), mercury (Hg), and zinc (Zn) were determined in sediment cores taken from Bayou d'Inde in southwestern Louisiana. Previous studies had reported elevated concentrations of these trace metals in sediments along this waterway. The current study, conducted more than a decade later, was designed to determine if these metals had migrated from the areas of highest concentrations. Concentrations as high as 400 mg/kg for Cr, 1100 mg/kg for Cu, 10 mg/kg for Hg, and 600 mg/kg for Pb and Zn were found. Areas of high concentrations of metals were isolated within a distance of about 1 km from the most highly contaminated areas in the bayou. Low concentrations of metals were found at the mouth of the bayou. Estimated sedimentation rates of 0.67–1.2 cm/yr were based on the burial of the sediments originally studied. The concentrations of the metals studied remained high and were also highly localized, both spatially and temporally.
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Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: 1: Sulphur High School, Sulphur, LA 70669. 2: St. James High School, St. James, LA 70086. 3: McNeese State University, Department of Chemistry, Lake Charles, LA 70609. 4: Nicholls State University, Department of Physical Sciences, Thibodaux, LA 70310.

Publication date: 2002-01-01

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  • The Journal of AOAC INTERNATIONAL publishes refereed papers and reviews in the fields of chemical, biological and toxicological analytical chemistry for the purpose of showcasing the most precise, accurate and sensitive methods for analysis of foods, food additives, supplements and contaminants, cosmetics, drugs, toxins, hazardous substances, pesticides, feeds, fertilizers and the environment available at that point in time. The scope of the Journal includes unpublished original research describing new analytical methods, techniques and applications; improved approaches to sampling, both in the field and the laboratory; better methods of preparing samples for analysis; collaborative studies substantiating the performance of a given method; statistical techniques for evaluating data. The Journal will also publish other articles of general interest to its audience, e.g., technical communications; cautionary notes; comments on techniques, apparatus, and reagents.
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