Analysis of metal pollutants in the Houston Ship Channel by inductively coupled plasma/mass spectrometry


1999 Sep


Saleh MA
Wilson BL

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Trace metal pollutants in the surface mater of the Houston Ship Channel mere determined using inductively coupled plasma/mass spectrometry (ICP/MS). Metal concentrations varied according to sampling sites. Barium, cobalt, chromium, molybdenum, silver, beryllium, antimony, lead, and mercury concentrations were relatively similar throughout the channel averaging 83.25, 0.55, 6.31, 6.66, 0.02, 0.017, 3.61, 0.68, and 0.055 mu g/L, respectively. Titanium, manganese, copper, zinc, nickel, and selenium concentrations were found to be higher at stations closer to the Galveston Bay (as the water is turning from relatively fresh water to sea water) with concentration ranges of 102.5-351.7, 0.3-25, 0.3-25, 30-280, 16-77, 6.2-26.5, and 0.0-6.2 mu g/L, respectively. Aluminum was found to be much higher at the Buffalo Bayou station (341 ug/L) followed by the San Jacinto station (104 mu g/L) with an average of 42 ug/L in the other two stations. Vanadium was found to be unusually high at the Washburn Tunnel station (116 mu g/L) and at much lower concentrations in the other three stations, averaging 6.5 mu g/L. Iron was also higher at the Buffalo Bayou station (143 mu g/L) but was absent at the Lynchburg Ferries station. Arsenic was not found at the Lynchburg and San Jacinto stations. However, arsenic had similar concentrations of 1.983 and 1.835 mu g/L at Buffalo Bayou and Washburn Tunnel, respectively. Cadmium was higher at the Lynchburg Ferries station (3.3 mu g/L) and ranged from 0.3 to 0.96 mu g/L in the other locations. Thallium was not found in any of the stations. (C) 1999 Academic Press




Houston Ship Channel, trace metals, inorganic pollutants, ICP/MS