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Multivariate Statistical Assessment of Heavy Metal Pollution Sources of Groundwater Around a Lead and Zinc Plant

Author(s): Abbas Ali Zamani | Mohammad Reza Yaftian | Abdolhossein Parizanganeh

Journal: Iranian Journal of Environmental Health Science & Engineering
ISSN 1735-1979

Volume: 9;
Issue: December;
Start page: 1;
Date: 2012;
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Keywords: Heavy metals | Groundwater | Differential pulse polarography | Multivariate data analysis

The contamination of groundwater by heavy metal ions around a lead and zinc plant has been studied. As a case study groundwater contamination in Bonab Industrial Estate (Zanjan-Iran) for iron, cobalt, nickel, copper, zinc, cadmium and lead content was investigated using differential pulse polarography (DPP). Although, cobalt, copper and zinc were found correspondingly in 47.8%, 100.0%, and 100.0% of the samples, they did not contain thesemetals above their maximum contaminant levels (MCLs). Cadmium was detected in 65.2% of the samples and 17.4% of them were polluted by this metal. All samples contained detectable levels of lead and iron with 8.7% and 13.0% of the samples higher than their MCLs. Nickel was also found in 78.3% of the samples, out of which 8.7%were polluted. In general, the results revealed the contamination of groundwater sources in the studied zone. The higher health risks are related to lead, nickel, and cadmium ions. Multivariate statistical techniques were applied for interpreting the experimental data and giving a description for the sources. The data analysis showed correlations and similarities between investigated heavy metals and helps to classify these ion groups. Cluster analysis identifiedfive clusters among the studied heavy metals. Cluster 1 consisted of Pb, Cu, and cluster 3 included Cd, Fe; also each of the elements Zn, Co and Ni was located in groups with single member. The same results were obtained by factor analysis. Statistical investigations revealed that anthropogenic factors and notably lead and zinc plant andpedo-geochemical pollution sources are influencing water quality in the studied area.

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