Environmental Science and Pollution Research

, Volume 26, Issue 10, pp 9536–9551 | Cite as

Contamination status and potential release of trace metals in a mangrove forest sediment in Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam

  • Tran Thi Thu DungEmail author
  • Tong My Linh
  • Tran Bích Chau
  • Truong Minh Hoang
  • Rudy Swennen
  • Valerie Cappuyns
Research Article


Can Gio district is located in the coastal area of Ho Chi Minh City, southern Vietnam. Discharge of wastewater from Ho Chi Minh City and neighboring provinces to the rivers of Can Gio has led to concerns about the accumulation of trace metals (As, Cu, Cr, Ni, Pb, and Zn) in the coastal sediments. The main objective of this study was to assess the distribution of As, Cu, Cr, Ni, Pb, and Zn in surface and core sediments and to evaluate the contamination status in relation to local background values, as well as the potential release of these selected trace metals from sediments to the water environment. Sediment characteristization, including determination of fine fraction, pH, organic matter, and major elements (Al, Fe, Ca, K, Mg, and S), was carried out to investigate which parameters affect the trace metal enrichment. Fine fraction and Al contents were found to be the controlling proxies affecting the distribution of trace metals while other sediment characteristics did not show any clear influence on trace metals’ distribution. Although As concentrations in the sediments were much higher compared to its reference value in other areas, the enrichment factor based on local background values suggests minor contamination of this element as well as for Cr, Cu, and Pb. Risk assessment suggested a medium to very high risk of Mn, Zn, and Ni under acidification. Of importance is also that trace metals in sediments were not easily mobilized by organic complexation based on their low extractabilities by ammonium-EDTA extraction.


Contamination assessment Potential release Trace metals Mangrove forest Ho Chi Minh City Vietnam 



Contamination factor


Enrichment factor


Ethylene diamine tetra acetic acid


Acetic acid


Organic matter


Probable effect levels


Pollution load index


Sediment quality guideline


Threshold effect level


Trace metal(s)


Upper continental crust



This research was supported by the International Foundation for Science (IFS), Stockholm, Sweden, through a grant to Tran Thi Thu Dung. Great thanks go to Nguyen Thi Ha and Ngo Dinh Tuan for their assistance during field work and sample preparation. The personnel at Can Gio Mangrove Protection Forest Management Board are also acknowledged for accessing the Can Gio mangrove biosphere reserve and support during sampling campaigns.

Supplementary material

11356_2019_4355_MOESM1_ESM.docx (12 kb)
ESM 1 (DOCX 11 kb)


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag GmbH Germany, part of Springer Nature 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  • Tran Thi Thu Dung
    • 1
    Email author
  • Tong My Linh
    • 1
  • Tran Bích Chau
    • 1
  • Truong Minh Hoang
    • 2
  • Rudy Swennen
    • 3
  • Valerie Cappuyns
    • 3
    • 4
  1. 1.University of Science, Faculty of EnvironmentVietnam National University Ho Chi Minh City (VNUHCMC)Ho Chi Minh CityVietnam
  2. 2.University of Science, Faculty of GeologyVietnam National University Ho Chi Minh City (VNUHCMC)Ho Chi Minh CityVietnam
  3. 3.Department of Earth and Environmental SciencesKU LeuvenLeuvenBelgium
  4. 4.Centre for Economics and Corporate SustainabilityKU LeuvenBrusselsBelgium

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