Picture of athlete cycling

Open Access research with a real impact on health...

The Strathprints institutional repository is a digital archive of University of Strathclyde's Open Access research outputs. Strathprints provides access to thousands of Open Access research papers by Strathclyde researchers, including by researchers from the Physical Activity for Health Group based within the School of Psychological Sciences & Health. Research here seeks to better understand how and why physical activity improves health, gain a better understanding of the amount, intensity, and type of physical activity needed for health benefits, and evaluate the effect of interventions to promote physical activity.

Explore open research content by Physical Activity for Health...

A study of metals in the Forth & Clyde Canal, Scotland, UK

Cortis, Robert and Davidson, Christine and Keenan, Helen (2011) A study of metals in the Forth & Clyde Canal, Scotland, UK. In: International Conference on Environmental Geology and Health SEGH 2011, 2011-04-11 - 2011-04-14.

Full text not available in this repository. Request a copy from the Strathclyde author


During the early years of the industrial revolution, an urgent need was felt for improvement of shipping to be able to cope with the ever increasing demands of transportation of goods and people. This led industrialists to build the Forth & Clyde Canal to serve as a short, internal route to connect Glasgow and Edinburgh at the time when road transport was still relying on horse-drawn cabs. The canal was, and still is, a sink for a variety of different antifouling agents that have been applied to vessels over the ages. Additionally, various industries flourished along the 56 mile stretch of the canal over the years. The waters served as a convenient location for effluent discharges at the time when environmental awareness and regulation was non-existent. Also, the canal has numerous catchment areas and is a recipient of surface water run-off and subject to heavy sedimentation from land soils. This study aims to measure current pseudo-total (aqua regia soluble) contents of the potentially toxic elements (PTEs) Cd, Cu, Pb and Zn in the canal sediment, and compare results with data obtained in a similar study by British Waterways in 19921. Twenty-eight samples have been obtained from the canal, with sampling points set at approximately 2 km apart, and another 3 along a short branch canal leading close to Glasgow city centre. Metal contents in the sediments were determined using flame atomic absorption spectrometry following microwave-assisted aqua regia digestion. Limits of detection (LODs) were 1.1 mg/kg (Cd), 12.8 mg/kg (Cu), 20.4 mg/kg (Pb) and 1.4 mg/kg (Zn). Levels of Cd were generally < the LOD, Cu and Zn concentrations measured were up to a few hundred mg/kg, whilst Pb levels were higher, sometimes exceeding 3000 mg.kg. The general trend observed was that present levels are lower than those determined in 1992; this is probably due to routine dredging and sediment disposal. 1. National Sediment Sampling Scheme - Report on the Sediment Quality in British Waterways Canals and Navigations, Scotland Unpublished internal report