Concentration of Lead and Cadmium in the Fosu Lagoon and its Health Implications on Lagoon Fishermen

Baffour-Awuah, E., Tenkorang, E. Y.


Many ecosystems around the world are encountering environmental problems as a result of man’s activities. Such ecosystems include lagoons of which the Fosu lagoon is no exception. It has been asserted that the lagoon water is polluted with heavy metals such as lead and cadmium. Fish muscles are also polluted with lead and cadmium. This study sought out to investigate lead and cadmium effects of tilapia consumption on the health of fishermen who fished in the lagoon. It also looked at health effects resulting from standing in the lagoon for fishing purposes. Health conditions investigated include infertility, cancer, painful bones, Burton line, wrist drop, cognitive deficiency among respondents’ children and skin diseases. Sixty fishermen were sampled for the study. The purposive and snowball sampling methods were used in the sampling process. Open and closed ended questions in a questionnaire were employed. Interview and observation techniques were also employed. The descriptive method of analysis was utilized using the SPSS software program. Results from the study revealed that fishermen who fished in the lagoon might be at risk of painful bone conditions and wrist drop due to lead and cadmium pollution of tilapia in the lagoon. While 28.3 percent had been diagnosed of wrist drop, over 33 percent had also been diagnosed of painful bones on more than one occasion. Fishermen might also be at risk of skin infections as a result of dermal contact with lagoon water. Thirty-five percent had at least, on one occasion or the other, been diagnosed of skin-related diseases. The study recommends that medical personnel, particularly doctors, should be involved in educating the fishermen concerning the risks involved in the consumption of tilapia from, as well as fishing in, the lagoon.

Keywords: diseases; environmental health; fishing; pollution; tilapia fish-muscle.

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ISSN (Paper)2224-3216 ISSN (Online)2225-0948

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