Heavy Metal Contamination Levels in Clams (Galatea paradoxa, Born 1778) and Surface Sediments from Mono River Estuary, Togo, and its Health Implications

Kamarou Faré KONDO, Komlan Mawuli AFIADEMANYO, Kamilou OURO-SAMA, Hodabalo Dheoulaba SOLITOKE, Kissao GNANDI


Heavy metal pollution in aquatic ecosystems is one of the most important threats of human health and food chain. Thus, in this study, the level of Cd, Fe, Hg, Mn, Pb and Zn accumulation in surface sediments and in Galatea paradoxa, were investigated to estimate their potential health risks via consumption to residents alongside the Mono river, Togo-Benin border. Samples were collected at two fishing areas and analyzed using flame atomic absorption spectrophotometry Moreover, the likely health risks developed as a result of human contamination by heavy metal through clam consumption was also assessed using target hazard quotient (THQ) and hazard index (HI). The mean maximal metal concentrations (μg/g dw) were as follows: Fe (25624) > Mn (1176.0) > Zn (23.29) > Pb (4.67) > Hg (0.038) in silty sediments and Fe (15692) > Mn (654.78) > Zn (12.53) > Pb (2.42) > Hg (0.034) in sandy sediments. Cd content were all below the detectable limit. When compared against some consensus-based sediment quality guidelines (TEL, ERL, AFNOR), it was observed that all the concentrations, excluding Fe levels in the samples, were lower than reference values. Similarly, computed PLI was less than 1 indicating that the lower tidal parts of the Mono were unpolluted. The accumulation pattern of studied trace metals in the clams followed a slightly different trend from that found in the sediments (Fe>Zn>Mn>Hg>Pb>Cd). Fe (1353 ± 162 μg/g dw) and Zn (51,8 ± 8.9 μg/g dw) content in whole tissues of G. paradoxa were well above the maximum concentration allowable by food safety criteria. In contrast, Cd (0.097 mg/kg dw), Hg (0.24 mg/kg dw) and Pb (0.18 mg/kg dw) content were very low. Computed THQ values were all below 1, with highest results found in the small size clams regardless of the heavy metals. The HI values indicate that none of the analyzed heavy metals may pose serious risk to consumers through the clams studied. The highest risk was posed by small clams, followed in decreasing order by medium and large clams. We therefore suggest that the clams taken from main fishing locations at Mono river are safe to eat.

Keywords: Heavy metals, Sediment pollution, Galatea paradoxa, Human health, Mono River

DOI: 10.7176/JBAH/11-4-06

Publication date: February 28th 2021

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ISSN (Paper)2224-3208 ISSN (Online)2225-093X

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