Original paper

Heavy metals distribution as indicator of influence of human activities in the Caparaó National Park and its surroundings

Rodrigues, William Fortes; Nunes, Marcia; Horn, Adolf Heinrich; de Santos Oliveira, Juliana


The creation of protected areas is currently turning into one of the main forms of government intervention, in order to reduce damage to biodiversity in the face of environmental degradation caused by anthropogenic activities. The main objective of this research was to determine the concentration and the sources of potentially toxic elements in samples from sediments and surface waters at the area of the Caparaó National Park in order to understand the correlation between the characteristics of natural and anthropogenic factors and to establish a natural background. Fieldwork was executed in the eastern and central parts of the Park with the in situ determination of physic-chemical parameters and the collection of water and sediments samples. Mineral and element detection by XRD, XRF and ICP-OES were done for selected elements (Cr, Cu, and Pb). Some of the physic-chemical parameters of the water samples like the electrical conductivity (100μS/cm) or turbidity (<45UNT) violated the environmental legislation. The remaining parameters were within the permitted limits. The results indicated that the quality of sediment and water in the marginal region and surroundings of the Park is influence and affected by human activities and that monitoring is necessary to control the increasing influence of anthropogenic sources in this region.


land useheavy metal contaminationcaparaó national parkcaparaó rangesediment qualitywater quality