Metal pollution in the environment of Minas Gerais State - Brazil

Environ Monit Assess. 2006 Jun;117(1-3):157-72. doi: 10.1007/s10661-006-8716-9.


Intense mining activities in Minas Gerais State - Brazil brings out tons of waste to the environment. Considerable concentrations of toxic elements penetrate the soil, ground waters and rivers. This endangers the environment quality not only in the surrounding areas but also in ichthyofauna and in more distant areas of cattle raising and agricultural activities. After seasonal floods, veterinary clinic studies have shown that most animals raised in this region are affected by symptomatologic nervous diseases, still not clearly diagnosed, which suggests intoxication. These pathologies are mostly noted after floods. Instrumental Neutron Activation Analysis was applied to determine Al, As, Au, Ba, Br, Ca, Cl, Co, Cr, Cs, Cu, Fe, Hg, K, La, Mg, Mn, Na, Nd, Rb, Sb, Sc, Sm, Th and Zn in environmental samples. The obtained results show that the water and sediment contaminated with heavy metals and toxic elements from the Das Velhas River upstream basin, the mining region, carry contamination to the ichthyofauna and farming region within a distance of approximately 400 km.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Brazil
  • Geologic Sediments / chemistry
  • Metals / analysis*
  • Mining*
  • Neutron Activation Analysis
  • Water Pollutants, Chemical / analysis*


  • Metals
  • Water Pollutants, Chemical