Heavy metal concentrations in, and human health risk assessment of, three commercially valuable fish species in the lower Niger River, Nigeria

  • J.C. Madu
  • G.E. Odo
  • C.N. Asogwa
  • C.D. Nwani
Keywords: atomic absorption spectrometry, bioconcentration, freshwater fish


The concentrations of Fe, Mn, Ni, Pb and V in water, sediment and the gill, liver and muscle tissues of Synodontis resupinatus, Heterotis niloticus and Clarias gariepinus, all commercially important fish species of the lower Niger River, were investigated in 2015. Water, sediment and fish samples were collected for six months and heavy metals were determined using an Atomic Absorption Spectrometer. Fe ranked highest in water and sediment, with concentrations of 2.74 mg l−1 and 61.60 mg kg−1, respectively. Metals followed the magnitude of Fe > Mn > Ni > V > Pb in the water and Fe > Mn > V > Ni > Pb in the sediments. Metal concentrations were higher in the tissues of S. resupinatus compared with H. niloticus and C. gariepinus. Fe was also highest in the gills, liver and muscle of the three fish species. Its highest concentration of 132.97 mg kg−1 dry weight was recorded in the gills of S. resupinatus. Bioconcentration factors of metals ranged from 8.79 for Mn in H. niloticus muscle to 67.99 for Ni in S. resupinatus gills. The fish species studied pose no health risk for all metals studied, because the target hazard quotient was less than 1 and the estimated daily intakes of the metals were below the reference doses.

Keywords: atomic absorption spectrometry, bioconcentration, freshwater fish


Journal Identifiers

eISSN: 1727-9364
print ISSN: 1608-5914