Affiliations: Soil and Water Research Department, Nuclear Research Center, Atomic Energy Authority, P.O. Box 17935, Egypt
Abstract: Cobalt is used in the manufacture of alloys, catalysts in the petroleum industry, catalytic converters, and paint pigments. Thus the potential for Co releases into the environment is highly increased. Use of waste sludges and sewage effluent to fertilize and irrigate soils has also increased soil Co concentrations. Total cobalt contents of alluvial delta soil of Egypt show considerable variation ranging from 13.1 to 64.7 ppm. The impact of either wastewater irrigation or industrial activities on soil total Co was obvious due to accumulation of organic matter and solid waste in the surface soil samples. Food Crops and vegetables should not be grown on soil highly contaminated by Co. It is noteworthy that the delayed neutron activation analysis (DNAA) technique could be used successfully for total Co determination due to its high sensitivity. It is quit clearly that dust samples of Cairo City contains higher Co level, as compared to Suez Canal Region (Ismailia, Port Said and El-Suez cities). The high values in Cairo City may be due to the existence of industries around the city and the intensive traffic. To minimize Co environmental hazards, waste effluents should be treated on site. Thus, levels of potentially toxic Co needs to be continuously monitored and should be removed during several treatment processes before the disposal of these wastes.