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Effects of Heavy Metals on the Aquatic Biota

By
M.G. Kelly
M.G. Kelly
Bowburn Consultancy, 11 Monteigne Drive, Bowburn, Durham DH6 5QB, UK
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Published:
January 01, 1997

Abstract

This review focuses on the effects of heavy metals on the aquatic (primarily freshwater) biota. During the 1970s and 1980s there was intense research interest in the biological effects of heavy metals. While this has provided a firm foundation for the interpretation of toxic effects associated with metalliferous mining in particular, many other aspects of mining, with potentially adverse effects on the biota, have received less attention. In particular, physical factors, such as those associated with high suspended solid loads, for example, are studied comparatively rarely, although for many deposits of insoluble metals (e.g., gold, tin) such factors may be more significant than toxicity (LaPerriere et al., 1985; Van Nieuwenhuyse and LaPerriere, 1986; Briones, 1987). Moreover, discovery of a valuable mineral may lead to large increases in population. The town of Jos in Nigeria, for example, owes its existence to the tin mines in the region and the main water quality problem in the Delimi river downstream of the town is due to sewage pollution rather than to mining (Kelly and Ali, 1993). Further environmental impacts can include clearing land for agriculture to feed the growing population (Livett et al., 1979). It would be wrong to consider the potential impact of a new development without considering these aspects as well.

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Reviews

The Environmental Geochemistry of Mineral Deposits: Part A: Processes, Techniques, and Health Issues Part B: Case Studies and Research Topics

G.S. Plumlee
G.S. Plumlee
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M.J. Logsdon
M.J. Logsdon
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L.F. Filipek
L.F. Filipek
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Society of Economic Geologists
Volume
6
ISBN electronic:
9781629490137
Publication date:
January 01, 1997

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