Ma. Teresa Leal-Ascencio, Saul Miranda, Elena Otazo Sánchez, Francisco Prieto García, Alberto José Gordillo


El Limón Lagoon belongs to the Reforma county, in the State of Chiapas, Mexico. Massive fish killings have occurred in the lagoon, demanding a deeper study to determine the pollution state of the lagoon, as well as the possible cause of the deaths. Results show that the average concentrations of Zn, Ni, Cr, Cd and Cu in the lagoon are beyond the recommended limits in Canada and USA to avoid deleterious biological effects in aquatic species. Special mention has to be done for the case of Zn, with a maximum concentration of 1360 mg/kg, presumably associated with the use of this metal as a catalyst in a natural gas plant close to the lagoon. Although the industrial discharges comply with the Mexican Standards for metals in wastewaters, this has not been enough to avoid the accumulation of metals in sediments, which is a demonstration of failure of the Mexican Wastewater Standards that should be more restrictive especially in the case of lagoons with a low water recharge, taking into account the type of water body where the wastewater is loading. In the case of the application of this water for agriculture, the metals can accumulate in soils, with unwanted effects on crops.


sediments; wastewater; metals; accumulation; zinc


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