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Effects of contamination with toxic metals on the environmental quality of Sepetiba Bay (SE Brazil): The case of Ingá Company

Andreza Portella Ribeiro (Mestrado de Gestão Ambiental e Sustentabilidade, Universidade Nove de Julho, São Paulo, Brazil AND Instituto de Pesquisas Energéticas e Nucleares, São Paulo, Brazil.)
Ana Maria Graciano Figueiredo (Instituto de Pesquisas Energéticas e Nucleares, São Paulo, Brazil.)
José Osman dos Santos (Instituto Federal de Educação, Ciência e Tecnologia de Sergipe, Lagarto, Brazil.)
Paulo Alves de Lima Ferreira (Instituto Oceanográfico da Universidade de São Paulo, São Paulo, Brazil.)
Gustavo Silveira Graudenz (Mestrado de Gestão Ambiental e Sustentabilidade da Universidade Nove de Julho, São Paulo, Brazil.)
Mauro Silva Ruiz (Mestrado de Gestão Ambiental e Sustentabilidade da Universidade Nove de Julho, São Paulo, Brazil.)
Michel Michaelovitch de Mahiques (Instituto Oceanográfico da Universidade de São Paulo, São Paulo, Brazil.)
Rubens Cesar Lopes Figueira (Instituto Oceanográfico da Universidade de São Paulo, São Paulo, Brazil.)
Julio Cesar de Faria Alvim Wasserman (Universidade Federal Fluminense, Niterói, Brazil.)

Management of Environmental Quality

ISSN: 1477-7835

Article publication date: 8 June 2015

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Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to address the case of toxic metal contamination of Sepetiba Bay caused by the Ingá Company. The paper reviews the history of the contamination and discusses the current presence of metals in the bay sediments, demonstrating that the toxic metals are clearly enriched. Sepetiba Bay is prone to significant dredging activities that make metals available in the food chain, affecting human populations, mainly fishermen communities.

Design/methodology/approach

The study presents the case of the Ingá Company based on international literature and data provided by previous studies.

Findings

Through the analysis and compilation of diverse data from the literature, this study demonstrates that the Ingá Company is a major source of Cd, Pb and Zn due to its calamine processing activities used to obtain high purity Zn.

Originality/value

This study highlights important research to complete the historical scenario of heavy metal contamination of the Sepetiba Bay by Ingá Company. The results indicate that the contaminants from the Ingá Company can indeed be traced in the sediments of Sepetiba Bay. These data have the utmost value for the environmental management of this coastal system, because such high concentrations of toxic metals in marine sediments have serious implications for the environmental quality of the bay and may negatively affect biota and human health. Therefore, this study suggests that it is now necessary to monitor this region for contamination continuously.

Keywords

Acknowledgements

The authors acknowledge the Conselho Nacional de Desenvolvimento Científico e Tecnológico (CNPq) for the financial support to this work. The authors are also grateful to Ecologus Consultive Engineering Ltd that supported part of the SEM/AVS analyses. Julio Cesar de Faria Alvim Wasserman is thankful to CNPq for the productivity research support (Grant No. 305241/2003-6).

Citation

Ribeiro, A.P., Figueiredo, A.M.G., Santos, J.O.d., Ferreira, P.A.d.L., Graudenz, G.S., Ruiz, M.S., Mahiques, M.M.d., Figueira, R.C.L. and Wasserman, J.C.d.F.A. (2015), "Effects of contamination with toxic metals on the environmental quality of Sepetiba Bay (SE Brazil): The case of Ingá Company", Management of Environmental Quality, Vol. 26 No. 4, pp. 538-551. https://doi.org/10.1108/MEQ-06-2013-0074

Publisher

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Emerald Group Publishing Limited

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