Bioaccumulation of Cr, Ni, Cd and Pb in the Economically Important Freshwater Fish Schizothorax plagiostomus from Three Rivers of Malakand Division, Pakistan: Risk Assessment for Human Health

  • Hazrat AliEmail author
  • Ezzat KhanEmail author


Contamination of freshwater ecosystems such as rivers with hazardous heavy metals is an environmental problem of public health concern. Accumulation of potentially toxic heavy metals in freshwater fish causes a potential health threat to their consumers including humans. The present research aimed to (1) investigate the accumulation of four potentially toxic heavy metals viz. Cr, Ni, Cd and Pb in muscle tissue of the commercially important freshwater fish Schizothorax plagiostomus at different sites of River Swat, River Panjkora and River Barandu in northern Pakistan (2) to compare gross metal accumulation in the fish samples by calculating metal pollution index (MPI) and (3) to assess potential risk to the health of the fish consumers. Samples were analyzed for the heavy metals by flame atomic absorption spectrophotometry (FAAS). Risk analysis showed that Ni risk was higher at River Panjkora and River Barandu, Pb risk was higher at River Swat and River Panjkora while Cd risk was quite low at all the three rivers.


Bioaccumulation Freshwater fish Heavy metals Northern Pakistan Risk assessment Schizothorax plagiostomus 



The authors are thankful to Dr. Muhammad Anwar Sajad, Department of Botany, Islamia College Peshawar, for his cooperation in metal analysis.

Compliance with Ethical Standards

Conflict of interest

The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.


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Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of ChemistryUniversity of MalakandChakdara, Dir LowerPakistan
  2. 2.Environmental Chemistry, Ecotoxicology and Ecology Laboratory, Department of ZoologyUniversity of MalakandChakdara, Dir LowerPakistan

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