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Department of Nuclear Science, National University of Malaysia, 43600 Bangi, Malaysia
Abstract The distributions of heavy metals in the Langat River were studied for a period of six months between September 1984 and February 1985. Heavy metals such as arsenic, cadmium, cerium, cobalt, chromium, caesium, lanthanum, rubidium, antimony, scandium, thorium and zinc were determined in water, suspended materials and sediment samples from the Langat River by neutron activation and atomic absorption spectrometry. The concentrations of arsenic, cadmium, cerium, cobalt, scandium, antimony, and zinc were generally highest in the suspended materials, whereas the concentrations of chromium, rubidium and thorium were always highest in the sediments: Arsenic concentrations in the river were slightly higher than the natural concentration, while other elements were generally at their natural concentration levels. The use of arsenical herbicides in plantations along the river could be a source of arsenic pollution.
Key words heavy metals - water quality - sediments