This work deals with the determination of heavy metals (Pb, Cr, Zn and Cu) in the sediment of Santa Barbara Channel, located in Pelotas, RS. Absence of studies of the levels of heavy metals, in this channel, associated with high toxicity, bioconcentration and biomagnification capacity of these analytes makes this work necessary and explains the validity of this study. Two grams of fraction (< 63 μm) of 6 sampling points, in triplicate, suffered acid digestion (4 ml of aqua regia + 1 ml of Milli-Q water and 1 ml of HClO4). The concentration of analytes in the extracts was performed with an atomic absorption spectrophotometer. The analytes were detected in all the sites, but at low levels of concentration, Cu (3.3 to 42.6 mg kg-1), Pb (4.7 to 16.2 mg kg-1), Zn (5.2 to 40.4 mg kg-1) and Cr (2.5 to 21.4 mg kg-1), observing a close relationship with the organic matter content and the sediments with grain size finer.
Key words: Trace metal pollution, Santa Bárbara channel, sediments, Urban environments.
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