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Distribución del arsénico en las regiones Ibérica e Iberoamericana

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... Yet, skills have not been commercialized owing to a deficiency of attention among the authorities, resident trades, and global interventions for economic and methodical assistances (Ravenscroft et al., 2009). In Brazil, one of the greatest challenging regions is the huge mining area fitting to the Minas Gerais state, recognized as the Iron Quadrangle (Bundschuh et al., 2008) where, As contamination range around 2980 mg/L (Bundschuh et al., 2008;Borba et al., 2003;Matschullat et al., 2000;López et al., 2009). In Mexico, the initial cases of arsenicosis were recognized in 1958 in Comarca Lagunera (Durango and Coahuila states), where As concentration ranged more than 700 mg/L in waters (Bundschuh et al., 2008;López et al., 2009;Cebrián, 1994). ...
... Yet, skills have not been commercialized owing to a deficiency of attention among the authorities, resident trades, and global interventions for economic and methodical assistances (Ravenscroft et al., 2009). In Brazil, one of the greatest challenging regions is the huge mining area fitting to the Minas Gerais state, recognized as the Iron Quadrangle (Bundschuh et al., 2008) where, As contamination range around 2980 mg/L (Bundschuh et al., 2008;Borba et al., 2003;Matschullat et al., 2000;López et al., 2009). In Mexico, the initial cases of arsenicosis were recognized in 1958 in Comarca Lagunera (Durango and Coahuila states), where As concentration ranged more than 700 mg/L in waters (Bundschuh et al., 2008;López et al., 2009;Cebrián, 1994). ...
... In Brazil, one of the greatest challenging regions is the huge mining area fitting to the Minas Gerais state, recognized as the Iron Quadrangle (Bundschuh et al., 2008) where, As contamination range around 2980 mg/L (Bundschuh et al., 2008;Borba et al., 2003;Matschullat et al., 2000;López et al., 2009). In Mexico, the initial cases of arsenicosis were recognized in 1958 in Comarca Lagunera (Durango and Coahuila states), where As concentration ranged more than 700 mg/L in waters (Bundschuh et al., 2008;López et al., 2009;Cebrián, 1994). These findings and intentions point out that the arsenic concentrations in LA require much more efforts to comprehensively remove/eliminate arsenic. ...
... Yet, skills have not been commercialized owing to a deficiency of attention among the authorities, resident trades, and global interventions for economic and methodical assistances (Ravenscroft et al., 2009). In Brazil, one of the greatest challenging regions is the huge mining area fitting to the Minas Gerais state, recognized as the Iron Quadrangle (Bundschuh et al., 2008) where, As contamination range around 2980 mg/L (Bundschuh et al., 2008;Borba et al., 2003;Matschullat et al., 2000;López et al., 2009). In Mexico, the initial cases of arsenicosis were recognized in 1958 in Comarca Lagunera (Durango and Coahuila states), where As concentration ranged more than 700 mg/L in waters (Bundschuh et al., 2008;López et al., 2009;Cebrián, 1994). ...
... Yet, skills have not been commercialized owing to a deficiency of attention among the authorities, resident trades, and global interventions for economic and methodical assistances (Ravenscroft et al., 2009). In Brazil, one of the greatest challenging regions is the huge mining area fitting to the Minas Gerais state, recognized as the Iron Quadrangle (Bundschuh et al., 2008) where, As contamination range around 2980 mg/L (Bundschuh et al., 2008;Borba et al., 2003;Matschullat et al., 2000;López et al., 2009). In Mexico, the initial cases of arsenicosis were recognized in 1958 in Comarca Lagunera (Durango and Coahuila states), where As concentration ranged more than 700 mg/L in waters (Bundschuh et al., 2008;López et al., 2009;Cebrián, 1994). ...
... In Brazil, one of the greatest challenging regions is the huge mining area fitting to the Minas Gerais state, recognized as the Iron Quadrangle (Bundschuh et al., 2008) where, As contamination range around 2980 mg/L (Bundschuh et al., 2008;Borba et al., 2003;Matschullat et al., 2000;López et al., 2009). In Mexico, the initial cases of arsenicosis were recognized in 1958 in Comarca Lagunera (Durango and Coahuila states), where As concentration ranged more than 700 mg/L in waters (Bundschuh et al., 2008;López et al., 2009;Cebrián, 1994). These findings and intentions point out that the arsenic concentrations in LA require much more efforts to comprehensively remove/eliminate arsenic. ...
Article
Freshwater demand will rise in the next couple of decades, with an increase in worldwide population growth and industrial development. The development activities, on one side, have increased the freshwater demand. However, the ground water has been degraded. Among the various organic and inorganic contaminants, arsenic is one of the most toxic elements. Arsenic contamination in ground waters is a major issue worldwide, especially in South and Southeast Asia. Various methods have been applied to provide a remedy to arsenic contamination, including adsorption, ion exchange, oxidation, coagulation-precipitation and filtration, and membrane filtration. Out of these methods, adsorption of As(III)/As(V) using nanomaterials and biopolymers has been used on a wide scale. The present review focuses on recently used nanomaterials and biopolymer composites for As(III)/As(V) sorptive removal. As(III)/As(V) adsorption mechanisms have been explored for various sorbents. The impacts of environmental factors such as pH and co-existing ions on As(III)/As(V) removal, have been discussed. Comparison of various nanosorbents and biopolymer composites for As(III)/As(V) adsorption and regeneration of exhausted materials has been included. Overall, this review will be useful to understand the sorption mechanisms involved in As(III)/As(V) removal by nanomaterials and biopolymer composites and their comparative sorption performances.
... La distribución de arsénico en aguas superficiales y subterráneas, suelos y sedimentos, ya sea de origen geogénico o antropogénico es una problemática mundial por los altos contenidos de arsénico detectados en esos medios abióticos [1]. ...
... El HACRE (hidroarsenicismo crónico regional endémico), es una patología producida por ingesta crónica de As en el agua y los alimentos, la misma provoca afecciones de piel, cáncer de piel, pulmón, vejiga, riñón, además de ocasionar alteraciones en el desarrollo, afecciones cardiovasculares, neurotoxicidad y diabetes. Las poblaciones con mayor afectación a esta patología, generalmente, habitan en países con bajos recursos económicos [1], [2]. ...
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... Otro elemento que ha alterado la cobertura es el desarrollo de complejos turísticos y habitacionales cercanos (Escalante y Rivas, 2014). Según Bundschuh, Pérez y Litter (2008), la Administración Nacional de Acueductos y Alcantarillados (anda), institución estatal encargada de la explotación de acuíferos y distribución de agua potable, colectó datos de algunos elementos químicos contaminantes en años recientes, pero desafortunadamente no ha hecho públicos los resultados. De ahí, precisamente, la urgencia de socializar los resultados de esta y de otras investigaciones que ayuden a medir el impacto negativo de la contaminación química de este recurso, pero sobre todo, a impedirlo. ...
... Estos valores fueron menores a los encontrados en esta investigación (2016), donde el promedio en los seis puntos de muestreo fue de 4.05 mg/L y el punto C obtuvo 6.7 mg/L. Este último dato sobrepasa los valores encontrados en algunos cuerpos de agua en El Salvador por Bundschuh, Pérez & Litter (2008). ...
Article
p>El lago Ilopango está localizado entre tres departamentos de El Salvador: San Salvador, Cuscatlán y La Paz. De acuerdo con Arévalo y Castañeda (2012), el lago recarga acuíferos, almacena agua, controla inundaciones en la región y ofrece recursos pesqueros y belleza escénica para el turismo y la recreación. Sin embargo, en 2015, a través de la gestión pública, inició la extracción de agua del lago para abastecer la capital salvadoreña (Videla, 2015). Por tal razón, en esta investigación se estudió la presencia y concentración de elementos contaminantes como parte de un monitoreo de la calidad del agua para el consumo humano. Se hizo un muestreo simple en seis puntos del lago, distinguidos como: A, B, C, D, E y F. Estas muestras se analizaron mediante un inductor de plasma acoplado por emisión de espectroscopia óptica (ICP-OES 3300 XL). Entre los resultados se encontró evidencia de elementos contaminantes como: arsénico (As), berilio (Be), cadmio (Cd), selenio (Se), talio (Tl) y plomo (Pb). Sin embargo, estos elementos contaminantes sobrepasaron los límites permitidos para el uso y consumo humano que establece la Agencia de Protección Ambiental de Estados Unidos. Revista ciencia, cultura y sociedad Vol. 4 No. 1 enero-junio 2017; 7-14</p
... Arsenic (As) is a natural component of the earth's crust and is widely distributed [1,2]. Industrially, As is used as an alloying agent as well as in manufacture processes of glass, pigments, textiles, paper, metal adhesives, pesticides, and wood preservatives [2]. ...
... Fish, shellfish, kelp, and some other seafood can contain organic species of As, mostly arsenobetaine with very low toxicity [6]. Arsenic exposure through the consumption of drinking water from wells is one of the greatest threats to human health, because in groundwater, As is naturally found as soluble iAs and it has been responsible for the development of severe adverse effects on populations in many regions around the world, including several countries in Latin America [1]. Other commonly reported contributors to iAs intake include vegetables, fruits, and beverages [7,8]. ...
Article
In Uruguay wood-impregnation plants use chromated copper arsenate (CCA) as preservative applying good manufacture practices (GMP). This study aims a retrospective evaluation of toxicologically relevant species levels in CCA exposed woodworker’s urine (As-U) and an assessment of the effects of work risk factors and non-occupational sources in As-U of workers from a selected plant. From 2014 to 2016, As-U in 212 urine samples (As-U) of 73 woodworkers from six CCA impregnation plants were determined. In one of these plants, 35 workers were interviewed to obtain individual data of work tasks, lifestyles, diet, habits, etc. that may contribute to their overall exposure to Arsenic. Responses were statistically evaluated. Out of the 212 urine samples from 73 woodworkers, 96% showed lower levels of As-U than those established by health regulations (<35μgL⁻¹). According to their work tasks 34% of 35 surveyed workers showed high exposure risk to As and 29% moderate exposure risk. Although they have lower levels of As-U owing to their personal protective equipment, As-U significantly correlate to work risk factors. Consumption of bottled water could also contribute to As-U levels as a non-occupational source. These results confirm that efforts of Uruguayan authorities to promote GMP were successful and justify the importance and frequency of As-U systematic biomonitoring for occupational risk assessment. A significant accomplishment of this work is that non-occupational sources of As-like bottled water consumption should also be considered in future studies.
... Las Naciones Unidas dentro de todas sus premisas declararon un derecho humano el acceso a agua potable segura por y para todos los países en todo el planeta. A pesar de este estamento un gran porcentaje de las civilizaciones rurales de Iberoamérica escasea de este recurso y como mayor afectación en los lugares donde medianamente hay el recurso, este se encuentra afectado por contaminantes y enfermedades hídricas para la población (IBEROARSEN, 2008). El agua ha sido muy importante para la población desde hace mucho tiempo, así como su calidad y disponibilidad de la misma, dicho esto el abastecimiento, uso y consumo del agua son requeridos en todas las actividades cotidianas del ser humano, implementando este desde el uso doméstico convencional, hasta la trasformación y la aplicación en las industrias; por lo tanto, no se observa el desarrollo continuo y adecuado de una población buscando mejorar la calidad de vida sin la presencia del agua (Arroyave, Builes, & Rodíguez, 2012). ...
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El agua es el soporte fundamental dentro de las sociedades y no se concibe actividad sin que juegue un rol fundamental, sin embargo su disponibilidad se ve paulatinamente disminuida a medida que la contaminación y la excesiva generación de residuos aumentan, a todo esto se le suma la falta de políticas ambientales en el tema del manejo de los recursos hídricos. Es el caso de la aguda contaminación que existe en el Río Chicamocha siendo perjudicado por las constantes descargas de aguas residuales desde la ciudad de Tunja, pasando por las industrias de Paipa, Duitama, Sogamoso hasta llegar a Vado Castro en Tópaga, a la altura de Acerías Paz del Río. De esta forma y teniendo en cuenta que la problemática de la calidad y cantidad de agua de esta región es alta, se concibe la posibilidad de evaluar la sostenibilidad en el marco del manejo del recurso hídrico de la cuenca Alta del Río Chicamocha mediante la metodología “City Blueprint Framework” (CBF), la cual es una herramienta de diagnóstico compuesta por tres estadios de evaluación importantes como lo son, los ámbitos social, económico y ambiental de un territorio. Además esta metodología introduce de manera funcional el tema de la gobernanza de cuencas en el territorio nacional dando como resultado último las falencias que se presentan en la zona para los ámbitos mencionados con anterioridad. La aplicación de esta metodología, en la cuenca Alta del Río Chicamocha se hizo, como primera medida, desde la información recopilada en la Corporación Autónoma Regional de Boyacá (Corpoboyacá), pasando por una evaluación diagnóstica de los indicadores “Trends and Pressures Index” (TPI) y “Blue City Index” (BCI) y confrontando esta valoración con la categorización del segundo indicador en diferentes ciudades en las que se ha aplicado. Dando como resultado un valor de BCI de entre 2-4 para lo cual se describe que la cuenca se puede denominar como “región derrochadora” presentando mayores problemas, como se había identificado en el análisis de información inicial, con la baja cobertura de sistemas de tratamiento de aguas residuales, alta facilidad de inundación, entre otros problemas que se describen con mayor detalle a lo largo del texto. Este trabajo de investigación se realizó dentro de la pasantía llevada a cabo en la Corporación Autónoma Regional de Boyacá durante el período de enero a julio de 2018.
... Arsenic in water is a global problem with great impact in the poorest regions of the world. In Latin America, this problem affects at least 14 countries, and the most critical areas are found in Argentina, Chile, and Mexico (Bundschuh et al. 2008). The consumption of fish contaminated with As shows early signs of digestive disorders, hypotension and tachycardia. ...
Article
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Multi-element concentrations (Al, As, Cd, Cr, Hg, Ni, Pb, Se, and Sr) were analyzed in the muscle of six fish species (Hoplias malabaricus, Oligosarcus jenynsii, Rhamdia quelen, Bryconamericus iheringii, Astyanax fasciatus, and Odontesthes bonariensis) with different diets and habits from the Río Tercero Reservoir (RTR) in Córdoba, Argentina, during the wet and dry seasons. Besides, potential human health risks, associated with the consumption of these elements, have been assessed considering the average daily intake (EDI) in children and adults. Additionally, the target hazard quotient (THQ) and carcinogenic risk (CR) were evaluated taking into account the intake by the general population, fishermen, and consumption frequency recommended by the American Heart Association (AHA), the maximum scientific reference in cardiology in the USA and worldwide. All species presented quantifiable values in muscle for all the analyzed elements (Al, As, Cr, Hg, Ni, Se, and Sr), except for Cd and Pb, being Al and Sr the most accumulated elements in all species in both seasons. The consumption of edible muscles of the species studied in this reservoir represents a toxicological risk to humans. Mercury and As were the main elements that presented a health risk through the consumption of fish. Their concentrations in most fish species were above the maximum daily allowable concentrations, and THQ values were several times greater than 1. In addition, according to AHA recommendations, the cancer risk caused by As was greater than the acceptable value of 10−4 in all species studied, and in both seasons, with the exception of A. fasciatus, in the rainy season. These results indicate that the consumption of fish from the RTR exposes the inhabitants to possible health risks, especially when considering the consumption frequency recommended by the AHA. Therefore, fish intake from this reservoir should be limited to minimize potential risks to the health of consumers. Finally, the results of this study are useful for controlling pollution and developing preventive and palliative policies to protect populations in contact not only with the reservoir but also with other areas of the world with similar conditions.
... La contaminación de los suelos y cultivos por estos elementos ocurre cuando son irrigados con aguas procedentes de desechos de minas, aguas residuales contaminadas de parques industriales y municipales, filtraciones de presas de jales y pozos de extracción hídrica ( Wang et al., 1992). Se han identificado un gran número de áreas en distintos lugares del mundo con aguas subterráneas que presentan contenidos de As superiores a 50 µg L-1 ( Bundschuh, 2008). Con base en la información recabada por el Departamento de Ingeniería Ambiental de la Universidad de Guanajuato, en la región del Bajío se han identificado concentraciones de arsénico (As) que se encuentran entre 0,01-0,96 µg L-1 (Torres y Li, 2017), excediendo el límite máximo permisible de 0,025 µg L-1 establecido por la Normativa Oficial Mexicana 127-SSAI2000. ...
Article
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La exposición crónica al arsénico (As) favorece el desarrollo de enfermedades como hidroarsenicismo o HACRE, hipertensión y cáncer, especialmente de piel, pulmón y vejiga. Asimismo, el flúor (F) produce fluorosis esquelética y dental.Desde 2006 la Organización Mundial de la Salud (OMS) recomienda una concentración máxima de As en agua potable de 0,01 mg/L; mientras en Argentina el valor continúa en estudio, aceptando 0,05 mg/L (si bien el Código Alimentario Argentino (CAA) indica 0,01 mg/L). La concentración máxima de F recomendada por la OMS es 1,5 mg/L; mientras CAA la regula según la temperatura media de la región.Este trabajo se localiza en caseríos dispersos en el monte a los alrededores de San José de Boquerón (Santiago del Estero). La zona carece de servicios básicos como energía eléctrica o agua potable. Sus pobladores consumen agua de pozo contaminada con As y F.Se busca proveer una solución, mediante el desarrollo e implementación de un filtro sustentable, con materiales económicos, que permita disminuir el contenido de As y F en agua para consumo.El filtro propuesto consiste en 4 baldes plásticos de 20 L, 1 Kg de clavos, arena, carbón de hueso-leña y granza. Tras el filtrado del agua contaminada con este sistema, se cuantificaron concentraciones de: As entre 0,025-0,05 mg/L y F entre 0,73-0,98 mg/L, conteniendo inicialmente 0,25 y 3,1 mg/L, respectivamente. Así, se lograron tratar 140 L (en 7 batches) de agua apta para consumo. Se evidenció la necesidad de acompañamiento durante la implementación del dispositivo en la zona.
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More than 200,000 inhabitants live in the drainage basin of Ilopango lake, El Salvador, even though high concentrations of boron (B) and arsenic (As) make this water unsuitable for human consumption. The water and sediments of Ilopango lake have been sampled and analyzed for trace elements and major ions, including As, nutrients (NO − 3 , PO 3− 4), SO 2− 4 , Cl − and B. For the waters, B concentrations range from 1.5 to 8.7 mg/l and As concentrations from 0.15 to 0.77 mg/l with the higher values to the south and lower values close to Cerros Quemados islands (at the lake center), where the last volcanic activity happened in 1880. Arsenic concentrations in the sediments were elevated at Cerros Quemados (86 mg/kg sediment), which also has the lowest concentration of organic matter. Sulfate and Cl − concentrations and the pH of Ilopango lake indicate that it is in a quiet phase when compared with other volcanic lakes of the world. However, fluxes of volcanic gases seem to occur to the south of the caldera, where seismic activity is higher, and anomalous concentrations of soil gases, especially radon, are evident. Concentrations of As, Cl − , B, PO 3− 4 , and SO 2− 4 in the water are also higher to the south, but the sediment concentrations of As, B, and Li are lower. Interaction of volcanic-hydrothermal fluids discharged to the south of the caldera, with the lake sediments could be generating the high element concentrations observed in the water.
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En los ultimos años, en la region del Valle del Guadiana (ciudad de Durango y poblados cercanos) se han detectado niveles de concentracion de arsenico (As) en algunos pozos de abastecimiento de agua potable que superan los límites recomendados por la Organizacion Mundial de la Salud (OMS) y el limite maximo permisible estabfecido par la legisiaci6n mexicana. Dada la conocida toxicidad de dicho elemento, en el presente estudio se propuso determinar cuantitativamente el contenido de arsenico en los pozos de abastecfmiento de agua potable de! valle del Guadiana., como un primer paso hacia la soluci6n de la problematica ambiental. Se encontro que en las zonas sureste, noroeste y noreste de la ciudad, en 59% de los pozos se excede hasta en 40% la concentracion de arsenico establecida como limite maximo par la legislaci6n mexicana. En las poblaciones de! valle de! Guadiana, 48% de los pozos superan los Iimites mencionados hasta en un 136%. Si se toma como referencia el limite maximo establecido par fa OMS, practicamente tados los pozos exceden ef valor recomendado.
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: The combined use of cake alum and a polymeric anionic floccu-lent (PAF) for removal of arsenic (As) and fluoride (F) from drinking water has been evaluated in water from two wells at Meoqui City, Chihuahua, Mexico. Field data revealed that As and F concentrations may, by this method, be re-duced up to 99% and 77%, respectively. The addition of small amounts of PAF greatly facilitated sedimentation of the precipitate. Sodium hydroxide (8% NaOH solution) was used to adjust the pH near to an optimal 7.1. The effi-ciency of F removal depended on the amount of cake alum employed and varied with pH, whereas As removal required only the presence of cake alum. Adsorption of inorganic contaminants, which helps precipitation of metal hy-droxide solids, was likely to be the dominant mechanism for F and As re-moval.
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In the light of progressive depletion of groundwater reservoir and water quality deterioration of the Independence aquifer, an investigation on chemical data of dissolved major and minor constituents in 246 recent groundwater samples was performed. The main objective was the detection of processes responsible for the geochemical evolution and mineralization throughout the area. Multivariate techniques revealed different sources of solutes (a) dissolution of calcium and magnesium carbonate minerals, (b) weathering of acid volcanic minerals, (c) alteration of manganese containing alkaline silicates, (d) leaching of halite deposits of meteoric origin, (e) contamination from agricultural and urban wastewaters, and (f) evaporative effects due to intensive irrigation. Although nitrate contamination is associated with pollution from intensive cultivated areas, natural contamination plays an important role in the study area. The investigation reveals that weathering of acid volcanic rocks (rhyolite) and oxidation of arsenic bearing sulfide minerals are the responsible processes for high fluorine (up to 16mg/l) and arsenic (up to 0.12mg/l) contents, respectively, exceeding the Mexican maximum admissible concentration for drinking water. Except for kaolinite, all recharge processes are dissolution oriented (CO2, calcite, dolomite, K-feldspar, plagioclase). Silicate precipitation (amorphous silica and chalcedony) is of growing importance in discharge zones. Cation exchange is not an important issue in the whole study area.
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Arsenic levels were determined in seventy three samples of well water, and in fifty samples of soil, forage and cow's milk collected at the most important dairy farms of the Comarca Lagunera located in Coahuila and Durango, Mexico, region naturally rich in As. The total inorganic arsenic concentration in well water ranged from 7 to 740 g L-1 and about ninety percent of the total arsenic was found as As(V). The agricultural soil texture of the sampled area was sandy clay loam type with total arsenic levels up to 30 g g-1, however, the extractable arsenic was not higher than 12% of the total and it was higher in the 0–30 cm depth horizon. In alfalfa, the most important crop, the total aresenic ranged from 0.24 to 3.16 g g-1, with 40% of it accumulated at the root level. Significant correlations (p=0.05) were obtained between arsenic (III), (V) and total inorganic arsenic in groundwater with arsenic in soil (0–30 cm depth), and with arsenic in alfalfa (leaves and roots). It was also found a good correlation between extractable arsenic in soil with As concentrations in alfalfa (roots). Arsenic concentrations found in milk ranged from
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Arsenic mobility was studied in tailings from Zimapan, a mining zone of Mexico. Primary mineral phases are quartz, calcite, pyrite, pyrrhotite, sphalerite and arsenopyrite. Secondary minerals in oxidised tailings include gypsum, K-jarosite, lepidocrocite, goethite, beudantite and kaolinite. The highest levels of As (up to 3.95 ± 2.29 weight %), Zn (up to 3.26 ± 2.21 weight %) and Pb (up to 0.93 ± 0.83 weight %) were measured in unoxidised tailings located at the edge of the town. Concentrations in water leachates from oxidised tailings were: As (0.41–48.68 mg/L), Zn (1.5–400 mg/L), Pb ( Keywords : arsenic mobility; mining; mineralogy; metals; oxidised tailings; Mexico; water leachates; secondary minerals; arsenopyrite oxidation; arsenic concentrations; sorption; chemistry; environmental pollution.
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The environmental impact of arsenic and heavy metals on a 105 km2 area of the historical and recent mining site of Villa de la Paz-Matehuala, San Luis Potos (Mexico) was evaluated. Results of soil samples reported concentrations between 19–17 384 mg kg-1 As, 15–7200 mg kg-1 Cu, 31–3450 mg kg-1 Pb and 26–6270 mg kg-1 Zn, meanwhile, the concentrations in dry stream sediment samples were found to vary between 29–28 600 mg kg-1 As, 50–2160 mg kg-1 Pb, 71–2190 mg kg-1 Cu, and 98–5940 mg kg-1 Zn. The maximum arsenic concentration in pluvial water storage ponds (265 g L-1), near the main potential sources of pollution, exceed by 5 times the Mexican drinking water quality guideline (50 g L-1). The arsenic concentrations in water storage ponds and stream sediments decrease as distance from the potential sources increase. A special case is the `Cerrito Blanco'' area located 5 km east of Matehuala, where the highest arsenic concentration in water was found (>5900 g L-1), exceeding by 100 times the established guideline, thus representing a severe health risk. The results suggest that arsenic and heavy metal dispersion from their pollution sources (historical and active tailings impoundments, waste rock dumps and historical slag piles), is mainly associated in this site with: (1) fluvial transportation of mine waste through streams that cross the area in W–E direction; and (2) aeolian transportation of mineral particles in SW–NE direction. Finally, control measures for pollution routes and remediation measures of the site are proposed.