Journal of Research in Environmental Science and Toxicology

Journal of Research in Environmental Science and Toxicology (ISSN: 2315-5698) Vol. 5(2) pp. 026-038,  May 2016. DOI: http:/ Copyright © 2016 International Research Journals


Full Length Research Paper

Distributions of metals (cadmium, lead, iron, manganese, zinc and copper) in water, aquatic plant and fish

*Abdou Khaled A.1, Ahmed Khadiga I.1, Mahmoud Adel .Shehata S.2, Housen Manal S.1

1Department of Toxicology and Forensic Medicine, Faculty of Veterinary Medicine, Beni Suef University, Egypt

2Department of Toxicology and Forensic Medicine, Faculty of Veterinary Medicine, Assiut University, Egypt

*Corresponding author’s E-mail - - Tel.00201001906577

Received February 14, 2016;  Accepted March 10, 2016



The River Nile is the principal fresh water resource, supplying Egypt with about 98 percent of its fresh water (Abu-Zeid, 2003 and Ali et al., 2008). Pollution in the River Nile’s main stem, drains and canals has increased in the last few decades (NWRC, 2000). Concentrations of cadmium (Cd), lead (Pb), iron (Fe), manganese (Mn), zinc (Zn) and copper (Cu ) were measured in water, Ceratophillyum demersum (C. demersum) aquatic plant, and the muscle, gill, liver, blood and kidney of Claries lazera fish (C. lazera) collected from nine sampling stations (districts), Beni Suef, Elfashn, Beba, Somosta, Ehnasia, Elwasta and Naser, along El Ebrahimia canal and two districts located at the east  bank of the Nile (Bayed El-Arab and Sanor) in the province of Beni Suef, Egypt during 2009-2010 using Solar Atomic Absorption spectrometer M6.The results reveal that the studied metals were detected in all the examined samples. In water, Pb had the highest concentration among the metals detected in Elfashn, Beba, Naser, Elwasta, Somosta, Bayed El-Arab and Sanor; Mn presented the highest concentration in Ehnasia, while Fe had the highest concentration in Beni Suef. The concentrations of Pb, Fe, and Mn were above the maximum permitted limits in all the districts. Cd concentration was above the permitted limit, except in Somosta and Naser, while Zn and Cu concentrations were below the permitted limits in the nine districts. The metal levels in water were compared with national and international water quality guidelines, and with the literature values reported for rivers and streams. Comparisons were made of the metal concentrations in water and aquatic plants with those in the catfish tissues obtained from water. The metal concentrations found in the C. demersum aquatic plant samples taken in the nine studied districts were distributed in this order; Mn > Zn > Cu >Pb >Fe > Cd. and were higher than the water. In fish, metals accumulated in the various examined tissues at several levels, but the metal concentrations in muscles (edible part) were below the metal levels in the other organs (nonedible) in the fish samples. The concentrations of Cd, Pb and Fe in fish tissues were above the international standard, while the concentrations of Mn, Zn and Cu were below this standard. The high concentrations of these metals in water, aquatic plants and fish in El Ebrahimia canal may be the result of both anthropogenic activities producing industrial, agricultural and domestic waste and accidental pollution incidents. 

Keywords: Heavy Metals, Aquatic environment, Nile River


The present study investigated the polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbon (PAH) contents of farm soils and three commonly consumed vegetables grown in farmlands in two communities- Alakahia and Eleme, Rivers state, Nigeria and their potential impacts on human health. The total PAH concentrations in vegetables and soil ranged from 1.34 to 9.51 and 51.02 to 93.14 µg/kg, respectively. Samples from the Eleme community had higher PAH concentration than samples from Alakahia community. Pyrene and Fluoranthene were the predominant PAH in the farm soil samples from Alakahia and Eleme respectively. The profile of PAH in the vegetable samples were dissimilar at both communities when compared to the farm soil samples. The Low molecular weight PAH to High molecular weight PAH ratio (LMW-PAH/HMW-PAH) showed that the high molecular PAH were predominant in the Alakahia farm soil while the low molecular PAH dominated the Eleme soil sample. The carcinogenic Potency equivalent concentration (µg/kg) were estimated to be 0.31- 1.51 and 0.37 - 0.97 for vegetablescollected from Alakahia and Eleme communities respectively. These values exceeded the screening value (0.23) for vegetables, thus indicating that the consumption of such vegetables is risky for the exposed population.


Keywords: PAH, Vegetables, Rivers state, Health risk, Carcinogenic. 

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