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Assessment of the levels of some heavy metals in mudfish (Clarias anguillaris) from River Okpokwu, Apa, Benue State, Nigeria

Research Paper | April 1, 2013

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J. Abah, S.T. Ubwa, D.I. Onyejefu, S.A. Nomor

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Int. J. Biosci.3( 4), 142-150, April 2013

DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.12692/ijb/3.4.142-150


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This study employed recommended analytical procedures to determine the levels of As, Mn, Cu, Pb and Fe in whole Clarias anguillaris (mudfish) obtained from river Okpokwu, Apa Local Government Area of Benue State, Nigeria. Samples of the fish, water and sediment were collected weekly at three commercial fishing locations: Auke, Odejo and Ocholonya in October, 2010 and February, 2011 and analysed for levels of the heavy metals using Unicam Solar (32) Atomic Absorption Spectrophotometer. The results obtained across the sampling points showed that the heavy metals concentrations in Clarias anguillaris varied between 0.05±0.01µg/g As to 0.44±0.03µg/g Fe in October, 2010 and 0.08±0.03µg/g Pb to 0.34±0.05µg/g Fe in February, 2011. In the river water and sediment, the results ranged from 0.06±0.02µg/L As to 1.24±0.05µg/L Fe and 0.36±0.04µg/g As to 3.79±0.20µg/g Fe in October, 2010 but varied between 0.04±0.01µg/L As to 0.59±0.10µg/L Fe and 0.41±0.06µg/g As to 0.97±0.03µg/g Fe in February, 2011 respectively. There were positive correlations between the metal contents of the samples. T-test analyses of the mean concentrations of the heavy metals between the sampling periods were statistically significant (P < 0.05). The concentrations of the heavy metals recorded in this study were below the WHO’s permissible limits. Therefore, water and Clarias anguillaris from the study area have not become contaminated by the heavy metals studied. However, periodic review should be sustained to monitor possible accumulations of the heavy metals in future due to the proliferation of anthropogenic activities around river Okpokwu.


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Assessment of the levels of some heavy metals in mudfish (Clarias anguillaris) from River Okpokwu, Apa, Benue State, Nigeria

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