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Determination of some dissolved trace metals from groundwater in Mauritius using inductively-coupled plasma -mass spectrometry

RT Ramessur


The concentrations of some dissolved trace metals: aluminium, chromium, manganese, nickel, copper, zinc,  cadmium and lead (Al, Cr, Mn, Ni, Cu, Zn, Cd and Pb) were determined in groundwater in the Flic en Flac and Grand River North West (GRNW) areas to assess groundwater contamination arising from agricultural and industrial activities of the Export Processing Zone (EPZ) in Mauritius during 1998. Inputs of dissolved Al, Ni,  Cu, Cd and Pb originating from both anthropogenic and natural activities and leading to the contamination of the  groundwater at both Flic en Flac and GRNW were not significant in 1998. However, dissolved Zn was  significantly higher in rainwater compared to Flic en Flac groundwater samples. The data demonstrated the potential for concentrations of some dissolved trace metals in groundwater samples to be below the proposed revised pollution limits in Mauritius. However, dissolved Cr in groundwater samples in the GRNW catchment area, which may arise from textile industries exceeded the proposed revised environmental inland water limits in Mauritius. There is at present an urgent need to review the guidelines for groundwater standards for trace metals in Mauritius which are to be proposed under Sections 34 and 74 of the Environmental Protection Act 1991 and cited as the new Environmental Protection Regulations 2000.

Keywords: Dissolved tracemetals, ICP-MS, groundwater, rainwater

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eISSN: 1694-0342