Agama lizard: A potential biomarker of environmental heavy metal pollution assessment
In this study, the suitability of Agama lizard as a biomarker in assessing environmental pollution levels of arsenium (As), barium (Ba), cadmium (Cd), copper (Cu), manganese (Mn), lead (Pb) and zinc (Zn) was investigated. Samples of top soil and agama lizards were taken from five sites within a university community in Nigeria for the study. Soil samples, livers and kidneys from the lizards were subjected to wet acid digestion and levels of heavy metals in the digested samples were determined using an atomic absorption spectrophotometer (AAS). Results of the study showed that the levels of the metals ranged from Cd, 20.4 ± 2.6 ìg/g to Zn, 978.6 ± 2.2 ìg/g in soil; Cd, not detected to Zn, 42.2 ± 0.3 ìg/g in liver; As and Ba, not detected to 47.6 ± 1.0 ìg/g Zn in kidney. The inter matrices correlation coefficient values obtained for the heavy metals showed that the kidney of lizards would be more relevant in assessing soil levels of such heavy metals as As, Ba, Cd, Mn and Pb among others.
Key words: Agama lizard, environmental pollution, soil, heavy metals, liver, kidney.