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Hydrobiological Journal
SJR: 0.227 SNIP: 0.901 CiteScore™: 0.5

ISSN Print: 0018-8166
ISSN Online: 1943-5991

Hydrobiological Journal

DOI: 10.1615/HydrobJ.v51.i6.100
pages 84-106

Arsenic in Natural Waters: Forms of Occurrence, Peculiarities of Migration, and Toxicity (a Review)

P. N. Linnik
Institute of Hydrobiology, National Academy of Sciences of Ukraine, Kiev


Results of the study of arsenic in natural waters of various types are generalized and considered in the paper. It has been shown that in the non-contaminated surface water bodies its content accounts for several micrograms per L. A high concentration of arsenic in surface and soil waters is typical for the regions of non-ferrous metals mining. Contamination of soil and well waters as sources of drinking water supply by this chemical element is a serious hazard to human health. Considerable attention is paid to the study of arsenic coexisting forms responsible for its toxicity for living organisms, including human beings. The main factors and processes influencing the state of arsenic in natural waters are considered. It has been shown that not only chemical factors (oxidation − reduction potential, pH, oxygen and organic matter content, and the presence of oxidizing and reducing agents), but also biological components of aquatic ecosystems (phytoplankton, higher aquatic plants, and bacteria) significantly influence transformation of its compounds. A comparative assessment of the toxicity of arsenic inorganic forms and products of its methylation is given in the paper. The significance of their determination from the ecological point of view is underlined.

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