Arsenic, chromium, copper, iron, manganese, lead, selenium and zinc in the tissues of the largemouth yellowfish, Labeobarbus kimberleyensis (Gilchrist and Thompson, 1913), from the Vaal Dam, South Africa, and associated consumption risks

  • BM Gilbert
  • A Avenant-Oldewage
Keywords: bioaccumulation, Labeobarbus kimberleyensis, risk assessment, target hazard quotient, trace element, Vaal Dam, water quality


This paper addresses the accumulation of trace elements in the water, sediment and tissues of Labeobarbus kimberleyensis from the Vaal Dam, South Africa. Fish were collected from the Vaal Dam during February to April 2011. Five organs, water and sediment were collected and trace element concentrations were measured with an ICP-MS. Target hazard quotients were calculated to assess the human health risk associated with consuming muscle tissue of this fish species. Trace element levels for Cu, Fe and Mn were higher in water and sediment compared to L. kimberleyensis. Sediment element levels were highest compared to water and fish. Clear trends in element accumulation by the different organs were observed. Liver and kidney accumulated the highest element concentrations, followed by the gills, muscle and spinal cord. Bioconcentration factors further supported the observation that trace element accumulation was lower in fish compared to sediment. The high sediment element levels indicate that there is a low bioavailability of elements for accumulation by biota in the Vaal Dam. Target hazard quotient determination indicated that risk associated with the consumption of muscle tissue from
L. kimberleyensis was low for most elements, except Cr and Se. Element levels in L. kimberleyensis, water and sediment have increased compared to previous studies on the Vaal Dam.

Keywords: bioaccumulation; Labeobarbus kimberleyensis; risk assessment; target hazard quotient; trace element; Vaal Dam; water quality


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eISSN: 0378-4738