Campus Only Senior Thesis
Bachelor of Arts
W.M. Keck Science Department
© 2014 Vivian G. Pham
Rivers all around the world have become increasingly polluted with heavy metals, largely due to industrialization and urbanization. Organisms exposed to high concentrations of heavy metals have shown evidence of biotoxicity and physical deformities. With biomagnification in mind, the possibility that this contamination may soon directly affect humans is a real concern, and policies in manufacturing industries worldwide may have to be reformed. In this study, we measured the concentrations of arsenic (As), cadmium (Cd), chromium (Cr), copper (Cu), nickel (Ni), and lead (Pb) in the Hatillo River and compared these values to those measured in the Tarcoles River, a highly polluted river, and Terciopelo Creek, a relatively clean river. The results showed that the Hatillo River had significantly lower levels of most detected heavy metals than both the Tarcoles and Terciopelo. Overall, sediments in all rivers showed high levels of heavy metal content--especially in chromium, copper, nickel, and lead--which could build up and affect organisms over a long period of time.
Pham, Vivian G., "Ecological Risk Assessment of Heavy Metal Content in the Hatillo River, Costa Rica" (2015). Scripps Senior Theses. 571.
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