Heavy Metals in Natural Waters: Applied Monitoring and Impact Assessment

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Tools Request permission Export citation Add to favorites Track citation. Share Give access Share full text access. Share full text access. Please review our Terms and Conditions of Use and check box below to share full-text version of article. Volume 70 , Issue 5 Pages Related Information. Close Figure Viewer. Browse All Figures Return to Figure. Previous Figure Next Figure. Email or Customer ID. Forgot password? Old Password. Limnologists are highly concerned about the increasing contaminations of water bodies due to heavy metals which are more dominant in lotic systems towards which industrial wastes are directed.

Heavy metals deteriorate the ecological balance of the aquatic environment [ 1 , 19 — 21 ]. Because fishes are at the end of aquatic trophic level they have higher tendency to accumulate heavy metals in their body Jakimiska et al. In aquatic system they diffuse radially and fish often being on the top of aquatic food chain are more susceptible to the hazardous effects as compared to terrestrial vertebrates [ 22 ] Chezhian et al. Heavy metals bioaccumulation in fishes restricts their use as a food due to the threats they pose to health; therefore assessment of fishes of different aquatic habitat for heavy metals accumulation is very much important.

We aimed to investigate heavy metals bioaccumulation in different organs of Cyprinus carpio and Labeo rohita and to determine which of the species have comparatively higher accumulation of heavy metals from Sardaryab, a tributary of River Kabul. Fish were collected with the help of cast net from Sardaryab Tapu, River Kabul, one kilometer upstream from Sardaryab Bridge.

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Morphometric measurements were taken on the spot and then fishes were transported to PCSIR Pakistan council of scientific and industrial research laboratory, packed in ice bar in a plastic bag. In the laboratory fishes were dissected for gills, liver, and muscles with the help of stainless steel knife on a clean glass. The organs were dried in the sun for one day.

ISBN 13: 9783540908852

The hot plate was kept in ventilation hub because of acidic fumes that originate from the samples and was heated until the solution became clear and transparent. The solution was evaporated up to 0. This is an indication that the digestion is completed. Bioaccumulation of heavy metals Zn, Cr, Cu, Hg, Fe, and Pb in different organs of Cyprinus carpio and Labeo rohita from Sardaryab River Kabul was investigated in the present study and the results are presented in Table 1. Showing heavy metal concentrations in gills, liver, and muscle of Cyprinus carpio and Labeo rohita.

In gills of Cyprinus carpio the quantity of Zn was 0. In liver of Cyprinus carpio the quantity of Zn was 0. In the muscles of the same fish the accumulation of Zn was 0. Similarly in the gills of Labeo rohita the quantity of Zn was 0. In liver of Labeo rohita the quantity of Zn was 0. Overall concentration of the studied heavy metals was higher in Cyprinus carpio as compared to Labeo rohita. Hg was not detected in neither of the species whereas Pb was not detected in muscles of both species. Bioaccumulations of heavy metals are used for environmental monitoring largely because aquatic organisms are in direct contact with the contaminated water.

Tissue metal concentrations in fish are good indicators of aquatic system exposure to the metal contamination [ 25 , 26 ]. Heavy metals accumulate in fishes via water, sediments, food such as algae upon which both herbivorous and omnivorous fishes feed [ 14 , 27 ]. In the present study we found that Cr and Fe were in higher concentrations followed by Zn in different organs of the Cyprinus carpio.

In addition to common carp higher level of Cr was also detected in Labeo rohita. Accumulation pattern of zinc was reported in the same order and was highest in liver of Labeo rohita as reported by Palaniappan et al.

Applied Monitoring and Impact Assessment

All of the heavy metals that we studied here such as Fe, Zn, Cu, Pb, and Cr are also reported by Onwumere and Oladimeji [ 28 ] in Oreochromis niloticus that were in contact with petroleum refinery effluent. In our findings the accumulation of metals was higher in liver and gills. Livers of both species showed higher concentrations of heavy metals while muscles showed the least amount except iron Fe which was highest in gills of Labeo rohita.

Heavy metals usually mount up in metabolically active tissues [ 29 ]. The tissue of liver is extremely active in the storage and uptake of heavy metals and also it is known that metallothionein induction takes place in fish liver [ 30 ]. The higher concentration of heavy metals in liver may also be due to the storage and detoxification of heavy metals in liver, coming through food [ 31 , 32 ].

The accumulation of metals in gills is probably because of direct contact of the metals with the gills during respiration [ 27 ]. It has been reported that the accumulation of heavy metals in gills is because of its thinnest epithelium among all the organs of the body through which metals can easily pass [ 27 ]. Mastan [ 21 ] has also been reported the similar pattern of bioaccumulation in Labeo rohita. Experimental studies have shown that muscles of Labeo rohita accumulate least metal zinc as compared to other organs [ 33 ].

Bioaccumulation of heavy metals like mercury, chromium, and nickel has been documented to be influenced by variation in age, season, and gender and this may correlate with feeding habits in different seasons and areas [ 34 — 36 ]. Connection between feeding habits, foraging behavior, and heavy metals concentration is also well established as higher for omnivorous and herbivorous as compared to carnivorous because omnivorous fishes feeding from different food chains are considered to have greater chances of heavy metals bioaccumulation [ 1 , 36 , 38 ].

Thus the omnivore nature of Cyprinus carpio makes it more prone to heavy metals bioaccumulation as compared to herbivore Labeo rohita. Water having accumulated heavy metals is a source for bioaccumulation in the gills; being the respiratory route they are in direct contact with water [ 1 , 19 , 27 ]. It has been a common trend in most cases that accumulation has been the highest in liver and lowest in muscles.

Gills, skin, and alimentary canal are the entry points of heavy metals. Active interaction of the tissue type, that is, gills with contaminated water and liver exposure to contaminated food, is another reason for the concentration of heavy metals in the respective tissues [ 39 ]. It has been published that Cr generally does not accumulate in fish and hence low Cr concentrations are reported even from the worldwide industrial areas [ 40 ].

In contrast to this study Yousafzai [ 7 ] published a report showing that significant Cr was accumulated in the gills of Labeo dyocheilus and Wallago attu.


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In addition to it, other studies also reported that higher concentration of Cr is a usual trend of bioaccumulation in different fishes such as Channa punctatus [ 39 ] and Wallago attu [ 41 ]. This is probably because the physiology of each fish is susceptible to a specific type of metal. All the studied heavy metals do not exceed the limits set by US RDA Table 1 on the basis of which it can be said that no immediate risks are there in consumption of the fishes.

Long term monitoring may be needed for a true picture in addition to a test for sublethal concentration in particular species. It is concluded from the current study that Cyprinus carpio stored higher concentration of Cr in all three mentioned organs as compared to Labeo rohita.

Hence Labeo rohita is good for consumption as it accumulates least amount of Cr. The authors declare that they have no competing interests with respect to the work presented here. National Center for Biotechnology Information , U. Journal List Biomed Res Int v.

Biomed Res Int. Published online Mar Author information Article notes Copyright and License information Disclaimer.

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Heavy metals in natural waters. Applied monitoring and impact assessment.

This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited. Abstract We examined and compared heavy metals bioaccumulation in Cyprinus carpio and Labeo rohita netted from Sardaryab, a tributary of River Kabul.

Introduction Health and environmental problems arising from heavy metals present in aquatic ecosystem and their bioaccumulation in fishes are very well known [ 1 ].


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  • Table 1 Showing heavy metal concentrations in gills, liver, and muscle of Cyprinus carpio and Labeo rohita. Open in a separate window.

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    Discussion Bioaccumulations of heavy metals are used for environmental monitoring largely because aquatic organisms are in direct contact with the contaminated water. Competing Interests The authors declare that they have no competing interests with respect to the work presented here.

    References 1. Yousafzai A. Bioaccumulation of heavy metals in common carp: implications for human health. Pakistan Journal of Zoology. Khan A. Dirilgen N. Fischer Technology; Assessment of Toxic Interactions. Akahori A.

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