alexa The dispersion of heavy metals in the vicinity of Britannia Mine, British Columbia, Canada.


Journal of Environmental & Analytical Toxicology

Author(s): Wilson B, Lang B, Pyatt FB

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Abstract Britannia Mine in British Columbia, Canada, is a major source of copper and other heavy metal pollutants, which enter the sea at Howe Sound. This investigation aims to determine whether there is sufficient Cd, Cu, Pb, and Zn, in the terrestrial environment surrounding the mine to suggest that dispersion and subsequent bioaccumulation has occurred in the past and continues. Samples of spoil, vegetation, and water were collected in January 2003 from areas at sea level and up to an altitude of 790 m. The samples of soil and vegetation were digested with aqua regia. The subsequent extracts and water samples were analyzed using flame atomic absorption spectrophotometry. The target metal concentrations were found to be much higher on the hillside spoil tips than on the seashore where the ore concentrators had formerly been located. The dispersion of heavy metals into the surrounding biosphere is discussed and further investigations into dispersion and partitioning within organisms including humans are suggested. This article was published in Ecotoxicol Environ Saf and referenced in Journal of Environmental & Analytical Toxicology

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