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The waters of Lake Maggiore are of great interest because their use covers important sectors such as drinking water, irrigation and recreation. Good water quality is required to minimize and limit the numerous effects of metals such as Cd, Pb, Cu, Cr, Ni and Hg. The areas investigated were Pallanza Bay and the area within the triangle Arona-Angera-Sesto Calende. A total of 24 sediment cores were collected. After separation of the contact and interstitial waters the concentrations of metals were quantified by means of atomic absorption spectrometry techniques. For the elements whose carcinogenic activity is known, the concentrations were between 0.1 (Cd) and 9.12 µg/l (Ni). The concentrations for Hg were higher in the interstitial waters, and the values were between 0.009 and 0.043 µg/l while for the contact waters were 0.001 and 0.006 µg/l respectively. The maximum concentrations of Pb and Cu were slightly higher than the Ni values. All the concentrations appeared to be significantly lower than the maximum allowed concentrations (MAC) imposed by Italian law. Finally, apart from a few exceptions, the elements were more linked to the solid phase, therefore their massive release to the liquid phase appears improbable.

Additional information

Authors: CENCI R, JRC Ispra (IT)
Bibliographic Reference: Paper presented: Eighth Congresso Nazionále SItE, Parma (IT), September 10-12, 1997
Availability: Available from (1) as Paper IT 40705 ORA
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