African Journal of

  • Abbreviation: Afr. J. Biotechnol.
  • Language: English
  • ISSN: 1684-5315
  • DOI: 10.5897/AJB
  • Start Year: 2002
  • Published Articles: 12368

Full Length Research Paper

Determination of heavy metals and genotoxicity of water from an artesian well in the city of Vazante-MG, Brazil

Regildo Márcio Gonçalves da Silva1*, Eni Aparecida do Amaral2, Vanessa Marques de Oliveira Moraes1 and Luciana Pereira Silva1
1Universidade Estadual Paulista (UNESP), Departamento de Ciências Biológicas - Laboratório de Fitoterápicos, Faculdade de Ciências e Letras de Assis, Avenida Dom Antônio 2100, CEP: 19806-900, Assis, São Paulo, Brasil. 2Centro Universitário de Patos de Minas (UNIPAM), Laboratório de Química Instrumental e Central Analítica.
Email: [email protected]

  •  Accepted: 26 August 2013
  •  Published: 11 December 2013


The city of Vazante-MG is of great socioeconomic and environmental interest because it is the most important zinc producer district of Brazil. The mineral processing and geochemical processes may determine high concentrations of heavy metals in water intended for human consumption. Thus, the present study aimed to quantify and evaluate the heavy metal genotoxicity of artesian water in the city by Atomic absorption spectrophotometer analysis and testing with the Allium cepa test, respectively. This study reveals a chemical contamination in well water in the city, caused by the presence of heavy metals. Therefore, it can be considered that the high levels of heavy metals found in water samples are correlated with the genotoxic events observed in root cells of A. cepa.


Key words: Allium cepa, micronucleus, atomic absorption, chromosome aberration, mitotic index.


Abbreviations: MMS, methylmetanosulfonate; MI, mitotic index; CA, chromosome aberrations; MN, micronucleus.