The impact of vehicular fallout on the Pra estuary of Ghana (a case study of the impact of platinum group metals (PGMs) on the marine ecosystem)
Environmental Monitoring and Assessment
Environmental Research Group, Department of Chemistry, University of Cape Coast, Cape Coast, Ghana
It is increasingly being recognised and environmental measurements have demonstrated that Platinum (Pt) (and potentially Rhodium (Rh) and Palladium (Pd)) is released with the ageing of catalytic converters. Platinum is a particular concern as it has a known mutagenic and toxic effect, even at exceedingly low concentrations, in urban air (affecting human health) and urban water (affecting ecosystem health). In the context given above and given the still keen lack of reliable experimental data on the levels of Pd, Pt and Rh in water and sediment, this study determined the concentration of such elements in water and sediment of the Pra estuary in the Western Region of Ghana where it is estimated that more than two thousand cars pass over the bridge under which the river flows to join the sea each day. Elevated concentrations of platinum (Pt), palladium (Pd) and Rhodium (Rh) were found to be associated with water and soils from areas of high traffic densities (Beposo) suggesting that vehicles also contribute heavy metals (PGMs) to the environment. The result showed elevated levels of these metals in river bank, waterbed and in the water. There is therefore the tendency of possible accumulation of these metals in plant and animals along these areas. © Springer Science+Business Media B.V. 2007.
Catalytic converters; Concentration (process); Ecosystems; Heavy metals; Heavy water; Iridium alloys; Metals; Palladium; Platinum; Platinum metals; Rhodium; Rivers; Sedimentation; Sedimentology; Transition metals; Akotokyir; Beposo; Bosomdo Krobo; Canberra Multi-Channel Analyzer (MCA); Case studies; Ecosystem health; Elevated concentrations; Elevated levels; Environmental measurements; Experimental data; Human health; In plants; Kakum; Low concentrations; Marine ecosystems; Platinum group metals; Platinum group metals (PGMs); Pra estuary; River banks; River flows; Shama Beach; Toxic effects; Traffic densities; Urban air; Urban waters; River pollution; heavy metal; palladium; platinum derivative; rhodium; river water; bioaccumulation; concentration (composition); ecological impact; estuarine ecosystem; fallout; palladium; platinum; pollution effect; rhodium; toxicity; traffic emission; urban atmosphere; article; environmental impact; environmental monitoring; estuary; flotation bed; Ghana; marine environment; motor vehicle; riparian ecosystem; soil analysis; soil chemistry; soil quality; water analysis; water content; water flow; water quality; water sampling; Ecosystem; Ghana; Hydrogen-Ion Concentration; Palladium; Platinum; Rhodium; Seawater; Vehicle Emissions; Water Pollutants, Chemical; Africa; Ghana; Pra Estuary; Sub-Saharan Africa; West Africa; Animalia