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Environ Monit Assess. 2019 Jan 22;191(2):93. doi: 10.1007/s10661-018-7170-9.

Chemical activity relation of phosphorus and nitrogen presence in trace elements incorporation into underground water.

Author information

Instituto Interamericano de Tecnología y Ciencias del Agua (IITCA), Universidad Autónoma del Estado de México, Unidad San Cayetano, Km.14.5 Carretera Toluca-Atlacomulco, C.P. 50200, Toluca, Mexico State, Mexico.
Instituto Nacional de Investigaciones Nucleares, Carretera México Toluca-La Marquesa s/n, C.P. 52750, Ocoyoacac, Mexico State, Mexico.
Instituto Potosino de Investigación Científica y Tecnológica, Camino a la Presa San José 2055. Col. Lomas 4 Sección, C.P. 78216, San Luis Potosí, Mexico.
Facultad de Química, Universidad Autónoma del Estado de México, Paseo Colón esq. Paseo Tollocan, C.P. 50120, Toluca, Mexico State, Mexico.
Facultad de Geografía, Universidad Autónoma del Estado de México, Cerro de Coatepec s/n, Ciudad Universitaria, C.P. 50110, Toluca, Mexico State, Mexico.


Anthropogenic activities can deteriorate the quality of groundwater destined for human use and consumption due to the fact that human activities cause changes in groundwater chemistry. The changes are induced by chemical species coming from industrial waste, which interacts with rocks and minerals. These trigger agents (phosphorus and nitrogen nutrients) which can incorporate trace elements (As, Fe, Mn, Pb, Cd, Ni, Zn). The main objective of the present work was to study the phosphate ions' and nitrogenous species' effects on the incorporation of trace elements into groundwater used for human consumption and to determine the physicochemical processes that participate in the incorporation of trace elements. The physicochemical analysis and elemental analysis by ICP of the groundwater that supplies the study area showed that the phosphorus (P) activity contributes in the incorporation of trace elements into the water. Significant correlations between the activities of P and Fe (0.516), Mn (0.553), Pb (0.756), and As (- 0.747) as well as the correlation of NH4+ with As indicate that the presence of chemical species such as PO43- (2.50-32.20 mg L-1), NO3- (0.89-30.80 mg L-1), and NH4+ (0.2-12.70 mg L-1) are triggering agents that favor the dissolution and mobility of As (0.014-0.020 mg L-1), Fe (0.020-1.14 mg L-1), Mn (0.007-0.254 mg L-1), Ni (0.002-0.0141 mg L-1), Zn (0.009-0.459 mg L-1), and Pb (0.009-0.0170 mg L-1), species with adverse health effects because they are considered carcinogenic. Adequate control of the nitrogenous and phosphated material prevents the dissolution and mobility of trace elements into the water.


Chemistry activity correlation; Phosphorus and nitrogen nutrients; Trace elements

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