Distribution and potential risks of heavy metals in fish, water and sediment

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Environmental Science, An Indian Journal
Heavy metal pollution in aquatic ecosystem impacts negatively on the organisms that depend on the water. Concentrations of some heavy metals in water, fish and sediment samples from Lake Bosomtwi in Ghana were determined to assess the extent of pollution in the lake. Concentrations of Fe, Zn, Cu, Mn and Ni in the lake were within the permissible levels recommended by World Health Organization. However, Cd and Pb exhibited higher concentrations possibly due to pollution events. The accumulation pattern in the study is in the order of Ni>Fe>Cu>Mn>Pb>Zn>Cd. Concentration of heavy metals in tilapia samples were all below the WHO guidelines. The sediment samples registered pollution load index of 3.317 indicating the sediment was polluted. Bioaccumulation in fish relative to the water was less than unity for all the metals except Mn. With respect to the sediments, bio-concentration factor for Cu was the highest (2.40) followed by Mn (1.72). All other metals recorded values < 1 indicating the fish species have not accumulated significantly from the environment. Except for Pb that registered a target hazard quotient of 1.030, all other metals had quotients well below 1. Consumption of tilapia from the lake can therefore be said to constitute no health risks so far as the heavy metals investigated are concerned.
This article was published in Environmental Science, An Indian Journal.
ESAIJ, 11(3), 2015 [74-82]