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Polycyclic aromatic compounds (PAHs and oxygenated PAHs) and trace metals in fish species from Ghana (West Africa): Bioaccumulation and health risk assessment

We report the concentrations of 28 PAHs, 15 oxygenated PAHs (OPAHs) and 11 trace metals/metalloids (As, Cd, Co, Cr, Cu, Fe, Mn, Ni, Pb, Se, and Zn) in muscle and gut + gill tissues of demersal fishes (Drapane africana, Cynoglossus senegalensis and Pomadasys peroteti) from three locations along the coast of the Gulf of Guinea (Ghana). The concentrations of ∑ 28PAHs in muscle tissues averaged 192 ng g 1 dw (range: 71–481 ng g 1 dw) and were not statistically different between locations. The concentrations of ∑ 28 PAHs were higher in guts + gills than in muscles. The PAH composition pattern was dominated by low molecular weight compounds (naphthalene, alkyl-naphthalenes and phenanthrene). All fish tissues had benzo[a]pyrene concentrations lower than the EU limit for food safety. Excess cancer risk from consumption of some fish was higher than the guideline value of 1 × 10 6. The concentrations of ∑ 15 OPAHs in fish muscles averaged 422 ng g 1 dw (range: 28–1715 ng g 1dw). The ∑ 15 OPAHs/∑ 16 US-EPA PAHs concentration ratio was > 1 in 68% of the fish muscles and 100% of guts + gills. The log-transformed concentrations of PAHs and OPAHs in muscles, guts + gills were significantly (p < 0.05) correlated with their octanol–water partitioning coefficients, strongly suggesting that equilibrium partitioning from water/sediment into fish tissue was the main mechanism of bioaccumulation. The trace metal concentrations in the fish tissues were in the medium range when compared to fish from other parts of the world. The concentrations of some trace metals (Cd, Cu, Fe, Mn, Zn) were higher in guts + gills than in muscle tissues. The target hazard quotients for metals were < 1 and did not indicate a danger to the local population. We conclude that the health risk arising from the consumption of the studied fish (due to their PAHs and trace metals content) is minimal.

Read full paper   https://doi.org/10.1016/j.envint.2013.12.018.

Name of Author(s):
Benjamin A. Musa Bandowe, Moritz Bigalke, Linda Boamah, Elvis Nyarko, Firibu Kwesi Saalia, Wolfgang Wilcke
Institutional Affiliation:
Type of Publication:
Journal Article
Name of Publisher or Journal:
Environment International
Date of Publication:
Number of Pages: