Assessment of Some Heavy Metals Content in Local and Imported Fish in Jema’a Local Government Area of Kaduna State, Nigeria 

Filed in Articles by on July 12, 2022

Assessment of Some Heavy Metals Content in Local and Imported Fish in Jema’a Local Government Area of Kaduna State, Nigeria.


People in Jema’a Local Government Area of Kaduna State, consume both imported and local fish without adequate information of likely health consequences from contamination.

This knowledge gap is filled by this study. The aim of this work was to assess the heavy metals concentration in local and imported fish, as well as river water and sediment in the study area.

To achieve the aim, a total of 21 fish samples comprising of local fish (Barbus occidentalis, Tilapia oreosClarias gariepinus) and imported fish (Ethmalosa fimbritus, Alosa fallax, Clupea harengus),

6 water samples and 6 sediment samples from Wonderful and Magami Rivers were collected and analysed for concentration of zinc, cadmium, iron, lead and mercury using atomic absorption spectrophotometer.

Degree of sediment contamination was assessed using geoaccumulation index. Target hazard quotient was used to assess human health risk in both local and imported fish.

Awareness of risk associated with heavy metals in fish consumed in the study area was also examined and three hundred and eighty-four copies of questionnaire were distributed to respondents using random sampling technique. 


Fish is an important source of protein which is an element necessary for the maintenance of healthy body. It is one of the most important animal protein sources which is beneficial.

It has low saturated fat, high protein content, and Omega-3 Polyunsaturated fatty acids, all of which are known to support good health (Burger and Gochfeld, 2004).

Fish is highly recommended by the American Heart Association to be included in the human diet at least twice a week because it helps to lower the risk of cardiovascular diseases (AHA, 2013).

Therefore, they are consumed on the basis that they promote good health. Nevertheless, in addition to the nutrients they provide, they contain other substances that are injurious to health.

These are called contaminants. Notable among such contaminants are heavy metals (Costenla, 2014). Heavy metals are stable metals with density greater than 5 to 6 g/cm3 which can have hazardous effects when present in higher concentrations (Keepax, Moyes and Livens, 2011).

Arsenic, cadmium, chromium, copper, nickel, lead and mercury are common heavy metals among others which pollute the environment.

Natural sources such as geologic weathering of the earth crust, volcanic eruptions, soil erosions as well as anthropogenic sources such as industrial and municipal wastes, as well as leakages from boats and also emissions via shipping traffic, all cause heavy metals to enter aquatic environments through the agents of wind and rain where they are ingested by aquatic organisms.

Fish accumulates substantial amounts of heavy metals in their tissues including the muscles and thus represent a major dietary source of these metals for humans. When ingested in excess amounts, heavy metals combine with the body’s biomolecules, like proteins and 2 enzymes to form stable biotoxic compounds. 


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