Physical-Chemical Evaluation of Rainwater as an Indicator of Atmospheric Pollution in Some Zones of the City of Maracaibo, Venezuela

by Blanca Medina Urdaneta, Cent de Invest. Biologicas, Maracaibo, Venezuela,
Hender Urdaneta, Cent de Invest. Biologicas, Maracaibo, Venezuela,

Document Type: Proceeding Paper

Part of: Coastal Zone '91


This study provided an evaluation of the presence of pollutants in the air over the City of Maracaibo by means of a physical-chemical analysis of rainwater collected in four zones of the city in 1987. Low incidence of acid rains was thus determined (pH 5.5), the pH ranging from 4.5 to 6.0, acidity being provided mainly by the ionic pairs H+; NO3-. The anionic species detected in the rain water evidenced the following order of concentration; NO3- > CL- > SO4=; cations were distributed as follows: Na > Fe > Mn > Zn > Cu > Cr > Cd > V > Co > Pb and the following pollution with respect to the earth's crust: Cd > Zn > Cu > Pb > Mn > Cr > Co > Na > V. The highest levels of pollution (>10) were given by Cd, Zn, Cu, Pb, and Mn. The analysis of the results points to the following as possible souces of pollution: The Petrochemical Plant, Power Plant, traffic emissions, metallurgical, mechanical and paint workshops, marine and mineral aerosols. Likewise, the Oil Refineries at Amuay and Punta Cardon, located on the Paraguana Peninusla, State of Falcon, Venezuela, were also named as possible sources of pollution.

Subject Headings: Air pollution | Rain water | Developing countries | Urban areas | Power plants | Acid rain | Water pollution | Zinc | Venezuela | South America

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