Total mercury levels in nine species of freshwater fish from two hydroelectric reservoirs and a crater lake in Ghana

  • E. S. Agorku
  • R. B. Voegborlo
  • A. A. Adimado


Total mercury (Hg) concentrations were determined in the muscle tissue of fish from three reservoirs in Ghana, namely, Lake Bosomtwi, Kpong and Akosombo Hydroelectric Reservoirs. A total of 165 fish samples covering nine species were collected and analysed for total mercury. A mixture of HNO3, H2SO4 and HClO4 were used for complete oxidation of organic tissues. Hg was detected by the Cold Vapour Atomic Absorption Spectrometry technique using an automatic mercury analyzer. Total mercury concentrations in μg g−1 (wet weight) ranged from below 0.001 to 0.070 for fish from Lake Bosomtwi, 0.010 to 0.275 for fish from Kpong Reservoir and from below 0.001 to 0.042 for fish from Akosombo Reservoir. All the results obtained are below the World Health Organization limit of 0.5 μg g−1. The low levels of total mercury obtained in this study suggest that the three aquatic environments have not been significantly impacted by mercury contamination.


Mercury Lake Bosomtwi Kpong Akosombo Reservoirs Fish Crater lake Ghana 


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media B.V. 2008

Authors and Affiliations

  • E. S. Agorku
    • 1
  • R. B. Voegborlo
    • 1
  • A. A. Adimado
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of ChemistryKwame Nkrumah University of Science and TechnologyKumasiGhana

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