Heavy metal profiles in various matrices of the Bonny/New Calabar River Estuary, Niger delta, Nigeria
A study of the concentrations of Ca, Mg, K, Zn, Pb, Cd, Co, Cr, Cu, Fe, Ni and Na in the sediment, sea water, fish and crab of the Bonny/New Calabar River Estuary in Niger Delta, Nigeria was carried out using atomic absorption spectrophotometer A-100 for two consecutive years. The contamination levels of the respective metals varied between 2011 and 2012and the range of mean values for all metals in mg/kg were presented along with variations at statistically significant level (P <0.05) between the two years studied. Only K, Zn and Co exhibited variation in their concentrations in water samples between the two years at a statistical significant level (P <0.05) probability. In sediment, only Cr varied between the two years at a statistically significant level (P = 0.05). All metals concentrations were higher in sediment than in water samples.Bioaccumulation factor (BF) indicated a more potent source of metals from sediment than water with organisms accumulating Zn, Fe and Ni in the magnitude of 10, 6 and 5 times more from sediment than from water. Some metals were more accumulated in fish than crab and vice versa. The evidence of elevated levels of heavy metals in sediment and bioaccumulation in biota in the studied area may poise a wanton threat to the health of inhabitants whose diet is predominantly fish. This calls for regular monitoring to avert potential public health problems arising from consumption of metals in seafood.
Keywords: Heavy metals, Matrices, bioaccumulation, Bonny River, Niger Delta, Nigeria.