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Characterisation of Some Trace Metals From The Export Processing Zone and a Coastal Tourist Area In Mauritius Using Inductively Coupled Plasma Mass Spectrometry

Author(s): Ramessur RT, Parry SJ, Jarvis, KE

Abstract

The concentrations of six trace metals - chromium, nickel, copper, zinc, cadmium, and lead (Cr, Ni, Cu, Zn, Cd, and Pb) were determined in the freshwater system at Flic en Flac and upstream and downstream Grand River North West (GRNW) to assess the impact of hotel and industrial activities of the Export Processing Zone (EPZ) in Mauritius during 1996–1997. The trace metals Cr and Pb exceeded the proposed revised pollution limit in either river or marsh at Flic en Flac and upstream and downstream GRNW. Cr, Zn, and Pb were significantly higher in rainwater compared to upstream GRNW values, indicating that airborne lead and zinc are significant from vehicle emissions. The concentration of Cr increased about two-fold downstream GRNW. For comparison purposes, Cr was about two-fold significantly higher downstream GRNW compared to downstream Flic en Flac, indicating the release of effluents containing chromates by the textile industries in the EPZ. The contamination of rainwater by airborne lead and zinc was significant and considered to arise from the heavy use of leaded petrol and lubricating oils containing zinc additives.

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