Assessment of lead concentration in surficial sediments of an island harbor estuary in Western Visayas, Philippines by flame atomic absorption spectrophotometry (FAAS)


Philippine Science High School Western Visayas Campus – Department of Science and Technology (DOST-PSHS WVC), Brgy. Bito-on, Jaro, Iloilo City 5000, Philippines


Lead contamination is an emerging problem  in the Philippines due to marine activities such as boating and commercial fishing in most coastal areas like MacArthur’s Wharf in Guimaras. The aquatic environment’s health is assessed by considering sediment quality through Flame Atomic Absorption Spectrophotometry (FAAS). Four surficial sediment samples were collected at 0 m, 25 m, 50 m, and 75 m away from the innermost sections of the docking area of the wharf, and the Pb concentrations were 23.66 ppm, 15.34 ± 1.07 ppm, 12.31 ± 1.07 ppm, and 11.80 ± 1.07 ppm, respectively. All samples fulfilled the permissible lead concentration in sediments by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) at <30.24 ppm, and the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (U.S. EPA) at <40 ppm, implying that MacArthur’s Wharf, Guimaras, is within the acceptable environmental standards.

Keywords: heavy metals, anthropogenic activities, lead contamination, sediment analysis, Flame Atomic Absorption Spectrophotometry