African Journal of Aquatic Science

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Metal enrichment in water and fish in a semi-urban Nigerian lake, and their associated risks

CD Ezeonyejiaku, MO Obiakor


Trace metal (Zn, Pb, Cu, Cr and Cd) concentrations in the water column and in the liver, muscle and gill tissues of Parachanna obscura and Clarias gariepinus in Agulu Lake, Nigeria, were investigated in June 2014 and compared with WHO and FAO safe limits for water and fish. Hazard index (HI) values were estimated to assess the potential public health risk of consuming contaminated fish. Lead and cadmium exceeded WHO guideline values for drinking water. In most cases, variations in concentration of the metals in organs were liver > muscle > gill. Differences in tissue-specific concentrations between species were not significant, except for zinc in muscles and gills. Cadmium and chromium were not detected in the fish, but lead was above the FAO maximum value for consumption. Hazard index values were below 1, indicating a low risk to public health. However, trace metal contamination in Agulu Lake is increasing.

Keywords: Agulu Lake, hazard index, trace metals, water pollution
AJOL African Journals Online