Research Article

Heavy Metal Levels in Water, Sediment and Tissues of Sarotherodon melanotheron from the Upper Bonny Estuary, Nigeria and Their Human Health Implications  

George Nnabugwu Anaero Nweke , A.P. Ugbomeh , I.K.E. Ekweozor , M. Moslen , N. Ebere
Department of Animal and Environmental Biology, Rivers State University, Nkpolu Oroworukwo, Port Harcourt, Nigeria
Author    Correspondence author
International Journal of Marine Science, 2018, Vol. 8, No. 23   doi: 10.5376/ijms.2018.08.0023
Received: 17 Jul., 2018    Accepted: 20 Aug., 2018    Published: 24 Sep., 2018
© 2018 BioPublisher Publishing Platform
This is an open access article published under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.
Preferred citation for this article:

Anaero Nweke G.N., Ugbomeh A.P., Ekweozor I.K.E., Moslen M., and Ebere N., 2018, Heavy metal levels in water, sediment and tissues of Sarotherodon melanotheron from the Upper Bonny Estuary, Nigeria and their human health implications, International Journal of Marine Science, 8(23): 186-194 (doi: 10.5376/ijms.2018.08.0023)

Abstract

Heavy metals in small amounts or in excess of permissible limits in aquatic organisms may pose a health risk to their consumers. The aim of this study was to investigate the levels of heavy metal in water, sediment and tissues of Sarotherodon melanotheron, from the Upper Bonny Estuary in the Niger Delta and to evaluate their human health implications. Water, sediment and S. melanotheron samples were collected from 5 different stations namely; Okochiri Creek (S1), Ekerekana Creek (S2) - Point of industrial effluent discharge (POD), Okari-Ama Creek (S3), Ogoloma Creek (S4) and Bonny Estuary (Control). The levels of Cr, Ni, Zn, V, Cd, Pb, Hg, and As were analysed following Standard Procedures using Atomic Absorption Spectrophotometer (AAS). Metals analysed were below detectable limit (0.001 mg/L) in water while metals such as Pb, Cr, Ni, Zn and V were below permissible limit in sediment. Ecological indices indicated that the sediment of the study area was unpolluted. The levels in the tissues (gill, muscle and liver) showed varying concentrations. Ni concentration in the tissues exceeded FAO/WHO permissible limits, Cr was above permissible limit in most tissues, while Pb was only detected in the muscle of S. melanotheron from Okari-ama Creek (S3). Zn and V were below the FAO/WHO permissible limit. Cd, As, and Hg were not detected in all samples. BSAF showed bio-accumulative potentials in the tissues. Further calculations on the risk associated with consumption of S. melanotheron showed that HQ and HI were <1 which showed no threat to public health. However, more studies on heavy metals and proper monitoring of the creeks should be encouraged by regulatory agencies in Nigeria to give informed decisions from risk assessments.

Keywords
Heavy metals; Sarotherodon melanotheron; Bioaccumulation; Risk assessments; Upper Bonny Estuary
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