Sequential extraction and risk assessment of potentially toxic elements in river sediments

Dithobolong L. Matabane, Taddese W. Godeto, Richard M. Mampa, Abayneh A. Ambushe

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

13 Citations (Scopus)


In this study, the sequential extraction method was applied to extract selected potentially toxic elements (PTEs) (Cd, Cr, Cu, Fe, Ni, Pb and Zn) in river sediments collected from the Blood River situated in Seshego area, Limpopo Province, South Africa. The study aimed to assess a possible trend of mobilisation of these elements from sediment to water. The accuracy of the sequential extraction method was confirmed by analysing sediment-certified reference material, and quantitative percentage recoveries ranging from 86 to 119%, 81 to 111% and 77 to 119% were achieved for exchangeable, reducible and oxidisable fractions, respectively. The potential risk of the PTEs in sediments was evaluated. The calculated values of contamination factor (CF) as well as risk assessment code (RAC) for Cd, Cu, Ni and Pb revealed the mobility of these elements. The PTEs in river sediments are at a high toxicity-risk level and could therefore cause a threat to organisms dwelling in sediments and humans via consumption of crops irrigated with the polluted river water.

Original languageEnglish
Article number874
Issue number8
Publication statusPublished - Aug 2021


  • Contamination factor
  • Potentially toxic elements
  • Risk assessment code
  • Sediment
  • Sequential extraction

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Geotechnical Engineering and Engineering Geology
  • Geology


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