Advertisement

Groundwater Contamination by Mercury from the Aforetime Carroting Practice

  • G. C. Quintana
  • N. Mirlean
Article

Abstract

In the southernmost Brazilian city of Rio Grande, the chemical treatment of animal fur named carroting was performed between the eighteenth and twentieth century. This type of industry has led to contamination of urban soil with mercury down to the groundwater level. The present study has revealed that the dissolved mercury concentrations in groundwater in the mercury contaminated areas was up to 13 times higher than that found in the reference site. The association between SO42−, Ca2+ and dissolved mercury indicate that urban man-made grounds composed by soil, construction and demolition waste, urban rubbish and mud contaminated by “carroting mercury” serve as a source of this metal to groundwater. Despite the high level of contamination, mercury concentrations found in groundwater were below the permissible level established for potable water. Most of the dissolved mercury was chemically combined, probably with organic matter.

Keywords

Mercury Groundwater Contamination Carroting 

Notes

Acknowledgements

The research was founded by the Foundation for Research Support of the State of Rio Grande do Sul, Brazil (FAPERGS, Grant 12/0290-2).

References

  1. CONAMA Ministério do Meio Ambiente (2008) Conselho Nacional do Meio Ambiente. Resolução no. 396 (portuguese)Google Scholar
  2. Fragomeni LP, Roisenberg A, Mirlean N (2010) Mercury pollution in land reclamation fills from the colonial period of the Brazil’s southernmost. Quim Nova 33:1631–1635 (portuguese)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  3. Lacerda LD, Malm O (2008) Contaminação por mercúrio em ecossistemas aquáticos: uma análise das áreas críticas. Estudos Avançados.  https://doi.org/10.1590/S0103-40142008000200011 (portuguese)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  4. Lindberg SE, Wallschlager D, Prestbo EM, Bloon NS, Price J, Reinhart D (2001) Methylated mercury species in municipal waste landfill gas sampled in Florida. Atmos Environ 35:4011–4015CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  5. Machado W, Moscatelli M, Rezende LG, Lacerda LD (2002) Mercury, zinc, and copper accumulation in mangrove sediments surrounding a large landfill in southeast Brazil. Environ Pollut 120:455–461CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  6. Mirlean N, Oliveira C (2006) Mercury in coastal reclamation fills in southernmost Brazil: historical and environmental facets. J Coastal Res 22:1573–1676.  https://doi.org/10.2112/04-0352.1 CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  7. Mirlean N, Calliari L, Baisch P, Loitzenbauer E, Shumilin E (2009) Urban activity and mercury contamination in estuarine and marine sediments (Southern Brazil). Environ Monit Assess 157:583–589.  https://doi.org/10.1007/s10661-008-0558-1 CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  8. Muccillo-Baisch AL, Mirlean N, Carrazzoni D, Soares MCF, Goulart GP, Baisch P (2011) Health effects of ingestion of mercury-polluted urban soil: an animal experiment. Environ Geochem Health 34:43–53CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  9. NRCC (2004) HISS-1, MESS-3, PACS-2 Marine Sediment Reference Material for Trace Metals and other Constituents, CanadaGoogle Scholar
  10. Pimentel F (1944) Aspectos Gerais do Município do Rio Grande. Instituto Brasileiro de Geografia e Estatística, Rio de Janeiro (portuguese)Google Scholar
  11. USEPA Method 1631 Revision E (2002) Mercury in water by oxidation, purge and trap, and cold vapor atomic fluorescence spectrometry. USEPA, Washington, DCGoogle Scholar
  12. USEPA Method 7471 (1986) Digestion of solids and semi-solids for mercury. USEPA, Washington, DCGoogle Scholar
  13. Varekamp JC, Kreulen B, Buchholtz MR, Mecray EL (2003) Mercury contamination chronologies from Connecticut wetlands and Long Island Sound Sediments. Environ Geol 43:268–282CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  14. WHO (1989) Mercury environmental health criteria 86. WHO, GenevaGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC, part of Springer Nature 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Oceanography InstituteFederal University of Rio GrandeRio GrandeBrazil

Personalised recommendations