Assessment of Heavy Metal Concentration in Water, Sediment and Common Fish Species of Dhaleshwari River in Bangladesh and their Health Implications

Abstract

The present study emphasized on evaluating the extent of pollution of Dhaleshwari River in Bangladesh due to the discharge of heavy metals from tanneries and other industries along with the health risks associated with the consumption of the heavy metals accumulated fish. For this purpose, three spots of Dhaleshwari River which are in the vicinity of the industrial outlet were selected for evaluating the seasonal status of heavy metals in water, sediment, and organs of three common fish species. Average concentrations of metals in water and sediment were in the order of Cr > Cd > Pb > Cu > As and Cr > Pb > Cu > As > Cd respectively. The average HM concentrations in water and sediment exceeded WHO and USEPA standards suggesting serious pollution to the aquatic environment. In fish organs, metal concentrations were in the order of Cu > Cr > Pb > Cd > As. Accumulation was highest in gills and lowest in muscles. Fish muscles had a relatively higher concentration of heavy metals (except As) exceeding the safe limits of FAO and WHO. Seasonal variation was also observed in water for all metals (p < 0.01), in sediment for Cu and As (p < 0.05), and in fish for Cr, Cd, and Cu (p < 0.05); higher concentrations were observed in winter. Bioconcentration factor analysis indicated that Cu, Pb, and Cr were more concentrated in fish. Health risk assessment reveals that the carcinogenic risk of Cr is associated with the consumption of contaminated fish species of the studied area.

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Abbreviations

HM:

Heavy metal

DEPZ:

Dhaka Export Processing Zone

CETP:

Central Effluent Treatment Plant

BCF:

Bioconcentration factor

EDI:

Estimated daily intake

THQ:

Target hazard quotient

CR:

Carcinogenic risk

CSF:

Carcinogenic slope factor

DWSB:

Drinking Water Standard for Bangladesh

TRV:

Toxicity reference value

WHO:

World Health Organization

TEL:

Threshold effect level

PEL:

Probable effect level

SEL:

Severe effect level

BDL:

Below detection limit

LOD:

Limit of detection

LOQ:

Limit of quantification

dw:

Dry weight

ww:

Wet weight

USEPA:

United States Environmental Protection Agency

FAO:

Food and Agriculture Organization

IARC:

International Agency for Research on Cancer

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Acknowledgments

The authors are cordially expressing their gratitude to the authority of the Bangladesh Council of Scientific and Industrial Research (BCSIR) for providing necessary funds for this study. The authors are grateful to Biomedical and Toxicological Research Institute (BTRI) for providing facilities to conduct the research.

Data Availability Statement

The authors declare that the data supporting the findings of this study are available within the article and its supplementary information files.

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Correspondence to Mahmuda Hakim.

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The manuscript does not contain clinical studies or patient data. There are no ethical concerns to be reported since the fishes were caught by the local fisherman for human consumption and were not alive during the time of collection by the authors. In other words, fish samples were not solely caught for the purpose of the study. Therefore, use of these fish samples in research does not require ethical clearance [77,78,79]. However, international methods and standards have been met during fishing.

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Lipy, E.P., Hakim, M., Mohanta, L.C. et al. Assessment of Heavy Metal Concentration in Water, Sediment and Common Fish Species of Dhaleshwari River in Bangladesh and their Health Implications. Biol Trace Elem Res (2021). https://doi.org/10.1007/s12011-020-02552-7

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Keywords

  • Heavy metal
  • Bioaccumulation
  • Fish
  • Human health risk
  • Dhaleshwari River
  • Carcinogenic risk