Accumulation and human health risk analysis of arsenic, lead, and mercury in three fishes caught from an oil-polluted-creek in Niger Delta, Nigeria


1 Federal Polytechnic Ekowe, P.M.B. 110, Yenagoa, Bayelsa State, Nigeria

2 Olusegun Agagu University of Science and Technology, P.M.B. 353, Okitipupa, Ondo State, Nigeria



Bodo Creek, like other aquatic habitats in the Niger Delta region of Nigeria, is reportedly contaminated by heavy metals due to crude oil pollution. It is unknown whether edible fishes caught from these sources pose any health risk to human consumers. The present study evaluated concentrations of arsenic (As), mercury (Hg), and lead (Pb)) in different organs of three edible fishes caught from Bodo Creek, and assessed the health risks of consuming these fishes by both children and adult populations. Samples of Ethmalosa fimbriata, Crenimugil seheli and Macolor niger were collected from artisanal fishermen fishing in Bodo Creek, and taken to the laboratory for heavy metal analysis. The results showed that concentrations of arsenic, lead, and mercury recovered from organs of these fishes differed, with gills having significantly (p<0.05) higher concentrations than muscle and liver. In terms of health risks, estimated daily intakes of Pb were higher in E. fimbriata, followed by M. niger, and the least values were recorded in C. seheli for both children and adult consumers. Target hazard quotients of these metals were below the risk level of 1 in both children and adult consumers of the three studied fishes. However, hazard index for children consumers of E. fimbriata was greater than 1. The values of incremental long-term cancer risk analysis for the studied metals were greater than the USEPA recommended safe limit of 0.000001. Based on these results, consumption of these fishes may pose future health risks for both children and adult populations.