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Article Published In Vol.5 (May-June-2017)

Risk Assessment of Heavy Metals in New Damietta Harbor along the Egyptian Mediterranean Coast

Author : Rasha El Gohary, Müfit Bahadir, and Moussa Elbisy

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Mediterranean coastal area. At the same time, little data are available for heavy metal pollution in this region. Studies on the environmental state of the Egyptian Mediterranean Coast have concentrated in the past mostly on simple environmental effects. Therefore, there is a demand for a current description of the heavy metal pollution likely caused through the regional development. The study area is at New Damietta Harbor (DH) that is considered as a semi-closed water body influenced by loading/unloading activities, municipal and agricultural waters resulting from Damietta Governorate. The study is mainly concerned with the contamination of surface waters, soil, and sediments by hazardous heavy metals, which are a widespread environmental problem in the marine and coastal environment at the Egyptian Mediterranean Coast. The purpose of this study was set to: 1. Evaluate the levels and the spatial distribution of heavy metals from water, soil, and sediments of the New Damietta harbor and offshore harbor water, which affect the Egyptian Mediterranean Coast, and 2. Compare the heavy metals in the harbor sediment and at the Egyptian Mediterranean Coast with international standards in order to determine the best available methodology for assessing the sediment toxicity. The analytical data revealed a marked increase in the levels of Cd , Hg, Pb, Ni, Cr, and Zn. On the other hand, the EF of Cu showed low value; less than unity indicate that the metal is incorporated in the sediment dominantly as lithogenous material. The high values of EFs showed the accumulation of trace metals in the sediments of study area. The magnitude of pollution by the metals can be arranged in the following sequence: Cd > Hg > Pb > Cr > Ni > Zn > Cu . The study concluded that the concentrations of heavy metals (Cd, Cr, Cu, Hg, Ni, Pb, and Zn) in water at all locations inside the harbor were within the limits (with few exceptions due to dredging activities). Heavy metals in the points recorded offshore for water and sediment were within the limits as well in all locations to the benefit of the Mediterranean Coastal environment. Finally, it is recommended to add a chapter, contains the limits for water quality criteria in harbors water in Egyptian Environmental Law of 1994.

Keywords: Egyptian Mediterranean Coast, Water Quality, Risk Assessment of Heavy Metals, Marine Zones, New Damietta Harbor

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