, Volume 25, Issue 1, pp 56-62

The Impact of Phosphate Mine Tailings on the Bioaccumulation of Heavy Metals in Marine Fish and Crustaceans from the Coastal Zone of Togo

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Abstract

About 2.5 million t of sedimentary phosphorite mine tailings, highly enriched with Cd, Cr, Cu, Ni, Fe, F, and Zn, are dumped annually in the coastal waters of Togo without any pre-treatment, causing serious pollution problems in the region. We conducted bioaccumulation investigations on fish and crustaceans sampled from the polluted coastal zone. The highest concentrations of metals in fish and crustacean were found close to the tailings outfall and the values decreased further away from the source of pollution. Compared to the international reference norms for seafood given by the WHO, Cd is enriched 10 to 168 fold, Pb 20 to 107 fold, Cu up to 5 fold, Fe up to 15 fold, and F up to 3 fold.