Determination of some environmental pollutants in the mining environs of Konongo in the Ashanti region of Ghana

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Various chemicals, some of which are deadly poisons, are used in mining activities in Ghana, resulting in the production of toxic substances with no proper method of disposal of the wastes. Some of these toxic products are inhaled or taken up by biological species. Others eventually find their way into our waters (both surface and underground). In the present work the results of a study to determine the environmental pollutants in the Mining Environs of Konongo in the Ashanti Region of Ghana are presented. The possible environmental pollutants in the mining environs of Konongo are CN- , Zn, Pb, B and Mn. In the course of the study the general quality of waters in the mining environs was determined. A titrimetric procedure was adopted to determine CN- . Spectrophotometric or colorimetric method was employed to determine Zn, Pb, Mn and B. Standard methods were used to determine the general water-quality parameters. Accumulation of pollutants in water-bed sediment, fauna and flora in the mining environs of Konongo was in the range of 0.011-0.064μgg-1 for CN-; 0.l88-1.17μgg for Zn; 0.015- 0.l22μgg-1 for Pb; 0.101-2.76μgg-1 for Mn and 0.05-0.60μgg-1 for B. The results of the work indicated that Konongo water-bed sediment, fauna and flora are not polluted by the mining processes and that if the present surveillance of the discharge of wastes was maintained, mining could continue without any adverse effect on Konongo environs. However, Konongo drinking-water did not meet the WHO (World Health Organization) Aesthetic quality.
A thesis submitted to the Department of Chemistry, Faculty of Science University of Science and Technology, Kumasi in partial fulfilment of the requirements for the Degree of M. Phil,1993.