International network for natural sciences – research journal
  • mendeley icon
  • linkedin icon
  • google plus icon
  • twitter icon
  • google scholar icon
  • facebook icon

A comprehensive review on heavy metal contamination in the urban river Buriganga Bangladesh: restoration perspectives

By: Minhazul Abedin, Md. Mahedi Hassan, Nasiruddin, Salina Rahman, Md. Mostafizur Rahman, Md. Kudrat E Zahan, Md. Yeamin Hossain

Key Words: metal contamination, restoration perspectives

Int. J. Biosci. 18(3), 164-181, March 2021.


Certification: ijb 2021 0187 [Generate Certificate]


Dhaka, one of the megacities in the world is situated at the bank of the Buriganga River. This river is flowing along the southeastern part of the megacity. The Buriganga River had a large contribution as an alternative source of water for the capital city of Bangladesh. But, at present the river water becomes polluted through various means viz. chemical wastes discharging, untreated industrial effluents disposal, human activities, sewage disposal and other solid wastes and consequently, it has been treated as a dead river. Rapid industrialization, urbanization and climate changes have put a negative impact on the soil, water and sediment quality of the Buriganga river for multifarious purposes. Typical researches on heavy metals contamination on the effluent of tannery, textile and dye industries, status and health risk assessment of heavy metals in water, sediment and fishes of Buriganga River, show that concentration of heavy metal is increasing day by day, especially in industrial areas. The heavy metals that are polluting the water of the Buriganga river are Chromium (Cr), Copper (Cu), Arsenic (As), Nickel (Ni), Lead (Pb), Cadmium (Cd), Manganese (Mn), Cobalt (Co), Zinc (Zn) and Iron (Fe). This review aims to represent the remarkable findings of metal pollution (exceeding water and sediments quality parameters as well as detrimental ecotoxicological threats and potential health risks) from the previously conducted researches on this critical urban river in this field and to make the dedicated researchers conscious about the present heavy metal’s contamination background of the Buriganga River.

| Views 136 |

| Views 136 |

A comprehensive review on heavy metal contamination in the urban river Buriganga Bangladesh: restoration perspectives

Tamim U, Khan R, Jolly YN, Fatema K, Das S, Naher K, Islam MA, Islam SMA, Hossain SM. 2016. Elemental distribution of metals in urban river sediments near an industrial effluent source. Chemosphere 155, 509-518.

Ahmad MK, Islam S, Rahman S, Haque M, Islam MM. 2010. Heavy metals in water, sediment and some fishes of Buriganga River, Bangladesh. International Journal of Environmental Research (IJER) 4(2), 321-332.

Sarker MAK. 2005. Study on the accumulation and seasonal variation of trace metals in water, sediment and some fishes of the Buriganga River. PhD dissertation, M Sc thesis (1998-1999), Department of

Zoology, Dhaka University, Dhaka, Bangladesh,1-4.

Kamal MM, Malmgren-Hansen A, Badruzzaman ABM. 1999. Assessment of pollution of the River Buriganga, Bangladesh, using a water quality model. Water Science and Technology 40(2), 129-136.

Wu S, Zhou S, Li X. 2011. Determining the anthropogenic contribution of heavy metal accumulations around a typical industrial town: Xushe, China. Journal of Geochemical Exploration 110 (2), 92-97.

Bhuiyan MAH, Suruvi NI, Dampare SB, Islam MA, Quraishi SB, Ganyaglo S, Suzuki S. 2011. Investigation of the possible sources of heavy metal contamination in lagoon and canal water in the tannery industrial area in Dhaka, Bangladesh.  Environmental Monitoring and Assessment 175(1-4), 633-649.

Sinha SN, Paul D. 2012. Detoxification of heavy metals by biosurfactants. Bulletin of Environmental and Scientific Research 1(3-4), 1-3.

Nouri J, Fatemi MR, Danekar A, Fahimi FG, Karimi D. 2009.  Determination of environmentally sensitive zones along Persian Gulf coastlines through geographic information system. J of Food, Agriculture and Environment 7(2), 718-725.

Anonymous. 2003. Diffuse Pollution Conference Dublin. Institute for Environment and Development Studies, Aquatic ecology and dangerous substances: Bangladesh perspective. 8 Ecology, 65-66.

Rajbanshi A. 2008. Study on heavy metal resistant bacteria in Guheswori sewage treatment plant. Our nature 6(1), 52-57.

Rahman MM, Asaduzzaman M, Naidu R. 2013a. Consumption of arsenic and other elements from vegetables and drinking water from an arsenic-contaminated area of Bangladesh. Journal of hazardous materials 262, 1056-1063.

Sin SN, Chua H, Lo W, Ng LM. 2001. Assessment of heavy metal cations in sediments of Shing Mun River, Hong Kong. Environment international 26 (5-6), 297-301.

Sheikh MA, Noah NM, Tsuha 2K, Oomori T. 2007. Occurrence of tributyltin compounds and characteristics of heavy metals. International Journal of Environmental Science & Technology 4(1), 49-59.

Yoon KP. 2003. Construction and characterization of multiple heavy metal-resistant phenol-degrading pseudomonads strains. Journal of microbiology and biotechnology 13(6), 1001-1007.

Zvinowanda CM, Okonkwo JO, Shabalala PN, Agyei NM. 2009. A novel adsorbent for heavy metal remediation in aqueous environments. International Journal of Environmental Science & Technology 6(3), 425-434.

Hawkes SJ. 1997. What is a” heavy metal”? 1997. Journal of Chemical Education 74(11), 1374.

Renberg I, Persson MW, Emteryd O. 1994. Pre-industrial atmospheric lead contamination detected in Swedish lake sediments. Nature 368(6469), 323-326.

Mohammed AS, Kapri A, Goel R. 2011. Heavy metal pollution: source, impact, and remedies. In

Biomanagement of metal-contaminated soils, p 1-28. Springer, Dordrecht.

Blaser P, Zimmermann S, Luster J, Shotyk W. 2000. Critical examination of trace element enrichments and depletions in soils: As, Cr, Cu, Ni, Pb, and Zn in Swiss forest soils. Science of the Total Environment 249(1-3), 257-280.

Brookes PC. 1995. The use of microbial parameters in monitoring soil pollution by heavy metals. Biology and Fertility of soils 19(4), 269-279.

Gupta A, Rai DK, Pandey RS, Sharma B. 2009. Analysis of some heavy metals in the riverine water, sediments and fish from river Ganges at Allahabad. Environmental monitoring and assessment 157(1-4), 449.

Levin SV, Guzev VS, Aseeva IV, Bab’eva IP, Marfenina OE, Umarov MM. 1989.  Heavy metals as a factor of anthropogenic impact on the soil microbiota. Microorganisms and Soil Conservation, 5-46.

Sheykhi V, Moore F. 2016. Environmental risk assessment of heavy metals pollution in aquatic ecosystem—A case study: Sediment of Kor River, Iran. Human and Ecological Risk Assessment: An International Journal 22(4), 899-910.

Majumder RK, Faisal BMR, Zaman MN, Uddin MJ, Sultana N. 2015.  Assessment of heavy metals pollution in bottom sediment of the Buriganga River, Dhaka, Bangladesh by multivariate statistical analysis.  International Research Journal of Environmental Sciences 4(5), 80-84.

Pongratz R, Heumann KG. 1999. Production of methylated mercury, lead, and cadmium by marine bacteria as a significant natural source for atmospheric heavy metals in Polar Regions. Chemosphere 39(1), 89-102.

Bhuiyan MAH, Islam MA, Dampare SB, Parvez L, Suzuki S. 2010. Evaluation of hazardous metal pollution in irrigation and drinking water systems in the vicinity of a coal mine area of northwestern Bangladesh. Journal of hazardous materials 179(1-3), 1065-1077.

Bhuyan MS, Bakar MA, Akhtar A, Hossain MB, Ali MM, Islam MS. 2017.  Heavy metal contamination in surface water and sediment of the Meghna River, Bangladesh. Environmental nanotechnology, monitoring & management 8, 273-

Boamponsem LK, Adam JI, Dampare SB, Nyarko BJB, Essumang DK. 2010.  Assessment of atmospheric heavy metal deposition in the Tarkwa gold mining area of Ghana using epiphytic lichens. Nuclear Instruments and Methods in Physics Research Section B: Beam Interactions with Materials and Atoms 268(9), 1492-1501.

Dan’Azumi S, Bichi MH. 2010. Industrial Pollution and Heavy Metals Profile of Challawa River in Kano, Nigeria. Journal of Applied Sciences in Environmental Sanitation 5(1).

Islam MS, Ahmed MK, Habibullah-Al-Mamun M, Islam KN, Ibrahim M, Masunaga S. 2014d. Arsenic and lead in foods: a potential threat to human health in Bangladesh. Food Additives & Contaminants: Part A 31(12), 1982-1992.

Islam MS, Ahmed MK, Habibullah-Al-Mamun M, Hoque MF. 2015. Preliminary assessment of heavy metal contamination in surface sediments from a river in Bangladesh. Environmental earth sciences 73(4), 1837-1848.


Islam MS, Hossain MB, Matin A, Sarker MSI. 2018a. Assessment of heavy metal pollution, distribution and source apportionment in the sediment from Feni River estuary, Bangladesh. Chemosphere 202, 25-32.

Rahman MS, Molla AH, Saha N, Rahman A. 2012. Study on heavy metals levels and its risk assessment in some edible fishes from Bangshi River, Savar, Dhaka, Bangladesh. Food chemistry 134(4), 1847-1854.

Salati S, Moore F. 2010. Assessment of heavy metal concentration in the Khoshk River water and sediment, Shiraz, Southwest Iran. Environmental monitoring and assessment 164(1-4), 677-689.

Shikazono N, Tatewaki K, Mohiuddin KM, Nakano T, Zakir HM. 2012. Sources, spatial variation, and speciation of heavy metals in sediments of the Tamagawa River in Central Japan. Environmental geochemistry and health 34(1), 13-26.

Sinha SN, Biswas M, Paul D, Rahaman S. 2011.  Biodegradation potential of bacterial isolates from tannery effluent with special reference to hexavalent chromium. Biotechnology Bioinformatics and Bioengineering 1(3), 381-386.

Bodrud-Doza M, Didar-Ul Islam SM, Rume T, Quraishi SB, Rahman MS, Bhuiyan MAH. 2020. Groundwater quality and human health risk assessment for safe and sustainable water supply of Dhaka City dwellers in Bangladesh.” Groundwater for Sustainable Development, 100374.

WHO. Geneva. 2011. Guidelines for drinking-water quality. World Health Organization 216, 303-304.

ECR (The Environment Conservation Rules). 1997. Department of Environment, Government of the People’s Republic of Bangladesh. Poribesh Bhaban E-16, Agargaon, Shere Bangla Nagar Dhaka 1207, Bangladesh, 179-226.

BIS. 2012. Indian Standard Drinking Water Specification. “Bureau of Indian Standards.” New Delhi, 2-3.

EPA U. 2006. “Edition of the drinking water standards and health advisories.” US Environmental Protection Agency, Washington, DC.

  1. EU. (European Union).1998. Council Directive 98/83/EC of 3 November 1998 on the quality of water intended for human consumption.

China. 2006. Standards for Drinking Water, National Standard of the People’s Republic of China. Ministry of Health of China GB, 5749-2006.

Dudka S, Adriano DC. 1997. Environmental impacts of metal ore mining and processing: a review. Journal of environmental quality 26(3), 590-602.

Wuana RA, Okieimen FE. 2011. Heavy metals in contaminated soils: a review of sources, chemistry, risks and best available strategies for remediation. Isrn Ecology 2011.

Ghannam HE, El Haddad ESE, Talab AS. 2015.  Bioaccumulation of heavy metals in tilapia fish organs.  Journal of Biodiversity & Environmental Science 7(2), 88-99.

Sa’idi M. 2010. Experimental studies on effect of heavy metals presence in industrial wastewater on biological treatment. International journal of

environmental sciences 1(4), 666-676.

Adakole JA, Abolude DS. 2012.  Pollutional status of Kubanni Lake through metal concentrations in water and sediment columns, Zaria, Nigeria.  Research Journal of Environmental and Earth Science 4(4), 424-427.

Singare PU, Mishra PM, Trivedi MP. 2012. Sediment contamination due to toxic heavy metals in Mithi River of Mumbai. Advance in Analytical Chemistry 2(3), 14-24.

Pande G, Madhuri S. 2014. Heavy metals causing toxicity in animals and fishes. Research Journal of Animal, Veterinary and Fishery Sciences 2(2), 17-23.

Muhammad S, Shah MT, Khan S. 2011. Health risk assessment of heavy metals and their source apportionment in drinking water of Kohistan region, northern Pakistan. Microchemical journal 98(2), 334-343.

Rahman MS, Khan MDH, Jolly YN, Kabir J, Akter S, Salam A. 2019. Assessing risk to human health for heavy metal contamination through street dust in the Southeast Asian Megacity: Dhaka, Bangladesh. Science of The Total Environment 660, 1610-1622.

Kumar M, Puri A. 2012. A review of permissible limits of drinking water. Indian journal of occupational and environmental medicine 16(1), 40. 10.4103/0019-5278.99696

Saha JC, Dikshit AK, Bandyopadhyay M, Saha KC. 1999. A review of arsenic poisoning and its effects on human health. Critical reviews in environmental science and technology 29(3), 281-313.

Bears H, Richards JG, Schulte PM. 2006.

Arsenic exposure alters hepatic arsenic species composition and stress-mediated gene expression in the common killifish (Fundulus heteroclitus). Aquatic toxicology 77(3), 257-266.

Ribeiro CAO, Vollaire Y, Sanchez-Chardi A, Roche H. 2005. Bioaccumulation and the effects of organochlorine pesticides, PAH and heavy metals in the Eel (Anguilla anguilla) at the Camargue Nature Reserve, France. Aquatic Toxicology 74(1), 53-69.

Moore MR. 1988. Haematological effects of lead. Science of the total environment 71(3), 419-431.

Mahurpawar M. 2015. Effects of heavy metals on human health. International Journal of Reseacrh-Granthaalayah, ISSN-23500530, 2394-3629.

Hodson PV, Blunt BR, Whittle DM. 1984. Monitoring lead exposure of fish. Advances in Environmental Science and Technology 1984.

World Health Organization. 1988. Requirements of Vitamin A, Iron, Folate, and Vitamin B12: Report of a Joint FAO/WHO Expert Consultation. No. 23. Food & Agriculture Organization.

Alina M, Azrina A, Yunus ASM, Zakiuddin SM, Effendi HMI, Rizal RM. 2012. Heavy metals (mercury, arsenic, cadmium, plumbum) in selected marine fish and shellfish along the Straits of Malacca. International Food Research Journal 19(1), 135–140.

Jaishankar M, Tseten T, Anbalagan N, Mathew BB, Beeregowda KN. 2014. Toxicity, mechanism and health effects of some heavy metals. Interdisciplinary toxicology 7(2), 60-72.

Chakraborty S, Dutta AR, Sural S, Gupta D, Sen S. 2013. Ailing bones and failing kidneys: a case of chronic cadmium toxicity. Annals of Clinical Biochemistry 50(5), 492-495.

Bernard A. 2008. Cadmium & its adverse effects on human health. Indian Journal of Medical Research 128(4), 557.

Henson MC, Chedrese PJ. 2004. Endocrine disruption by cadmium, a common environmental toxicant with paradoxical effects on reproduction. Experimental biology and medicine 229(5), 383-392.

Koutras GA, Schneider AS, Hattori M, Valentine WN. 1965. Studies on chromated erythrocytes. Mechanisms of chromate inhibition of glutathione reductase. British Journal of Haematology 11(3), 360-369.

Schlatter C, Kissling U. 1973. Acute fatal bichromate poisoning. Beitrage zur gerichtlichen Medizin 30, 382-388.

Duruibe JO, Ogwuegbu MOC, Egwurugwu JN. 2007. Heavy metal pollution and human biotoxic effects. International Journal of physical sciences 2(5), 112-118.

Beckman RA, Mildvan AS, Loeb LA. 1985. On the fidelity of DNA replication: manganese mutagenesis in vitro. Biochemistry 24(21), 5810-5817.

Islam MS, Han S, Ahmed MK, Masunaga S. 2014a. Assessment of trace metal contamination in water and sediment of some rivers in Bangladesh. Journal of Water and Environment Technology 12(2), 109-121.

Mokaddes MAA, Nahar BS, Baten MA. 2012. Status of heavy metal contaminations of river water of Dhaka Metropolitan City. Journal of Environmental Science and Natural Resources 5(2), 349-353.

Baki MA, Shojib MFH, Sehrin S, Chakraborty S, Choudhury TR, Bristy MS, Ahmed MK, Yusoff SB, Khan MF. 2020. Health risk assessment of heavy metal accumulation in the Buriganga and Turag River systems for Puntius ticto, Heteropneustes fossilis, and Channa punctatus. Environmental geochemistry and health 42(2), 531-543.

Bhuiyan MAH, Dampare SB, Islam MA, Suzuki S. 2015. Source apportionment and pollution evaluation of heavy metals in water and sediments of Buriganga River, Bangladesh, using multivariate analysis and pollution evaluation indices. Environmental monitoring and assessment 187(1), 4075.

Khan FE, Jolly YN, Islam GMR, Akhter S, Kabir J. 2014. Contamination status and health risk assessment of trace elements in foodstuffs collected from the Buriganga River embankments, Dhaka, Bangladesh. International Journal of Food Contamination 1(1), 1.

Mohiuddin KM, Ogawa Y, Zakir HM, Otomo K, Shikazono N. 2011. Heavy metals contamination in water and sediments of an urban river in a developing country. International journal of environmental science & technology 8(4), 723-736.

Real MIH, Redwan A, Shourov MMR, Azam H, Majed N. 2017. Heavy Metal Contamination in Environmental Compartments of Buriganga River in Dhaka City. In Global Civil Engineering Conference, p 1455-1466. Springer, Singapore.

Sarkar M, Rahman AKML, Islam JB, Ahmed KS, Uddin MN, Bhoumik NC. 2015. Study of hydrochemistry and pollution status of the Buriganga river, Bangladesh. Bangladesh Journal of Scientific and Industrial Research 50(2), 123-134.

Mohiuddin KM, Alam MM, Ahmed I, Zakir HM, Chowdhury AK. 2015a. Physicochemical Properties and Metallic Constituent Load in the Water Samples of the Buriganga of Bangladesh. Journal of Environmental Science and Natural Resources 8(2), 141-146.

Sikder D, Islam MS. 2016. HEAVY METAL CONTAMINATION ASSESSMENT OF THE BURIGANGA RIVER BED SEDIMENT.”. Proceedings of 3rd International Conference on Advances in Civil Engineering, 21-23 December 2016, CUET, Chittagong, Bangladesh, 37-42.

Mohiuddin KM, Alam MM, Ahmed I, Chowdhury AK. 2015b. Heavy metal pollution load in sediment samples of the Buriganga river in Bangladesh. Journal of the Bangladesh Agricultural University 13(2), 229-238.

Islam MS, Proshad R, Saad Ahmed S. 2018. Ecological risk of heavy metals in sediment of an urban river in Bangladesh. Human and ecological risk assessment: an international journal 24(3), 699-720.

Whitehead PG, Bussi G, Peters R, Hossain MA, Softley L, Shawal S, Jin L. Rampley CPN, Holdship P, Hope R, Alabaster G. 2019. Modelling heavy metals in the Buriganga River system, Dhaka, Bangladesh: impacts of tannery pollution control. Science of the Total Environment 697, 134090.

Rampley, CPN, Whitehead PG, Softley L, Hossain MA, Jin L, David J, Shawal S, Das P, Thompson IP, Huang WE, Peters R, Holdship P, Hope R, Alabaster G. 2020. River toxicity assessment using molecular biosensors: Heavy metal contamination in the Turag-Balu-Buriganga river systems, Dhaka, Bangladesh. Science of the Total Environment 703, 134760.

Islam GMR, Khan FE, Hoque MM, Jolly YN. 2014b. Consumption of unsafe food in the adjacent area of Hazaribag tannery campus and Buriganga River embankments of Bangladesh: heavy metal contamination. Environmental monitoring and assessment 186(11), 7233-7244.

Asaduzzaman M, Hasan I, Rajia S, Khan N, Kabir KA. 2016. Impact of tannery effluents on the aquatic environment of the Buriganga River in Dhaka, Bangladesh. Toxicology and Industrial Health 32(6), 1106-1113.

Islam MM, Rahman SL, Ahmed SU, Haque MKI. 2014c. Biochemical characteristics and accumulation of heavy metals in fishes, water and sediments of the river Buriganga and Shitalakhya of Bangladesh. Journal of Asian scientific research 4(6), 270.

Islam MM, Karim M, Zheng X, Li X. 2018b. Heavy metal and metalloid pollution of soil, water and foods in Bangladesh: A critical review. International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health 15(12), 2825.

Islam MS, Afroz R, Mia MB. 2019. Investigation of surface water quality of the Buriganga river in Bangladesh: Laboratory and spatial analysis approaches. Dhaka University Journal of Biological Sciences 28(2), 147-158.

Ahmed K, Das M, Islam MM, Akter MS, Islam S, Al-Mansur MA. 2011. Physico-chemical properties of tannery and textile effluents and surface water of River Buriganga and Karnatoli, Bangladesh. World Applied Sciences Journal 12(2), 152-159.

Ahmed MK, Baki MA, Islam MS, Kundu GK, Habibullah-Al-Mamun M, Sarkar SK, Hossain MM. 2015. Human health risk assessment of heavy metals in tropical fish and shellfish collected from the river Buriganga, Bangladesh. Environmental science and pollution research 22(20), 15880-15890.

Ahmed MK, Baki MA, Kundu GK, Islam MS, Islam MM, Hossain MM. 2016. Human health risks from heavy metals in fish of Buriganga river, Bangladesh. SpringerPlus 5(1), 1-12.

Reza A, Yousuf TB. 2016. Impacts of waste dumping on water quality in the Buriganga River, Bangladesh and possible mitigation measures. Journal of the Environment 11(1), 35-40.

Hoque MMM, Deb PP. 2016. Assessment of Physicochemical Water Quality Parameters and Heavy Metals Concentration in Water Samples from Buriganga River Adjacent to Dhaka City. Journal of Environmental Science and Natural Resources 9(2), 97-104.

Das M, Ahmed MK, Islam MS, Islam MM, Akter MS. 2011. Heavy metals in industrial effluents (Tannery and Textile) and adjacent rivers of Dhaka city, Bangladesh. Terrestrial and Aquatic Environmental Toxicology 5(1), 8-13.

Khan MT, Biswas S. 2013. Investigation of heavy metal pollution in peripheral river water around Dhaka city. Pensee 75(10).

Fatema K, Begum M, Al Zahid M, Hossain ME. 2018. Water quality assessment of the river Buriganga, Bangladesh. Journal of Biodiversity Conservation and Bioresource Management 4(1), 47-54.

Ahsan SN. 2019. State of Water Pollution from Industrial Effluents in Bangladesh. Department of Environment, Bangladesh.

Kibria MG, Kadir MN, Alam S. 2015. Buriganga river pollution: its causes and impacts. In International conference on recent innovation in civil engineering for sustainable development, p 323-328.

Choudhury MR, Islam MS, Ahmed ZU, Nayar F. 2016. Phytoremediation of heavy metal contaminated buriganga riverbed sediment by Indian mustard and marigold plants. Environmental Progress & Sustainable Energy 35(1), 117-124.

Saha PK, Hossain MD. 2011. Assessment of heavy metal contamination and sediment quality in the Buriganga River, Bangladesh. In 2nd international conference on environmental science and technology, IPCBEE, Singapore, p 26-28.

Minhazul Abedin, Md. Mahedi Hassan, Nasiruddin, Salina Rahman, Md. Mostafizur Rahman, Md. Kudrat E Zahan, Md. Yeamin Hossain.
A comprehensive review on heavy metal contamination in the urban river Buriganga Bangladesh: restoration perspectives.
Int. J. Biosci. 18(3), 164-181, March 2021.
Copyright © 2021
By Authors and International Network for
Natural Sciences (INNSPUB)
innspub logo
english language editing
    Publish Your Article
    Submit Your Article
Email Update