Heavy metal pollution and toxicity assessment in Mallorquin swamp: A natural protected heritage in the Caribbean Sea, Colombia

his work reports the level and ecotoxicity impact of metals in the sediments of the Mallorquín swamp, a protected coastal lagoon in the Caribbean coast of Colombia. The distribution of metals was in the following decreasing order: Zn > Cu > Pb > Cd > Hg, showing statistically significant differences among sites. The average Pb and Cd concentrations in sediments were about 17 and 5 times higher, respectively, compared to those in background values. Several contamination indices suggested moderate contamination of Hg, Cu, and Zn, and strong pollution due to Cd and Pb.