Public Perception on Health Risk Implications of Lead and Cadmium Ingestion through Consumption of Saratherodon Melanotheron in the Fosu Lagoon

Emmanuel Baffour-Awuah


Various research works have indicated that the Fosu Lagoon is polluted with lead and cadmium. The consumption of fish, particularly saratherodon melanotheron (blackchin tilapia) in the Fosu Lagoon in Cape Coast, Ghana, could therefore give rise to negative health implications. Yet people consume tilapia from the lagoon. The purpose of the study was therefore to ascertain public perception on the health implications of tilapia consumption due to the presence of lead and cadmium presence in the tilapia. A questionnaire and interview schedule was used to collect the data. Subjects were sampled using purposive sampling technique for a sample size of fifty-five from the Cape Coast Metropolis where the lagoon is located. Descriptive analytic tools such as frequencies, percentages and tables were employed utilising Statistical Package for the Social Sciences (SPSS) version 21software for the analysis. The study revealed that 60 percent of the respondents either strongly disagreed or disagreed that the lagoon and its content are polluted with lead and cadmium; though 65.5 percent had heard of the pollution of the lagoon and its content on one occasion or the other. It was also revealed that about 58 percent and 21.6 percent respectively strongly disagreed and disagreed that tilapia consumption has negative implications. The study further showed that about 80 percent of the respondents consume between 13.65-65.51g of tilapia per meal and an average of 175.8g per week (i.e. 4-5 days per week). The paper recommends that a strategic plan to educate the public on the consumption of tilapia from the lagoon and its health implications be drawn and implemented.

Keywords: contamination; environment; heavy metals; pollution; tilapia; water bodies


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

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