Trace Elements in Water, Sediments and the Elongate Tigerfish Hydrocynus forskahlii (Cuvier 1819) from Lake Turkana, Kenya Including a Comprehensive Health Risk Analysis

  • Elick O. Otachi
  • Christof Plessl
  • Wilfried Körner
  • Annemariè Avenant-Oldewage
  • Franz Jirsa


This study presents the distribution of 17 major and trace elements in surface water, sediments and fish tissues from Lake Turkana, Kenya. Eight sediment and ten water samples from the west bank of the lake, as well as 34 specimens of the elongate tigerfish Hydrocynus forskahlii caught in that region were examined. It is the first report for Li, Rb, Sr, Mo from the lake and the first report on most of the trace elements for this fish species. The concentrations of elements in the water and sediments showed no sign of pollution. In fish muscle, Li, Zn and Cd showed relatively high abundances, with mean concentrations of 206, 427 and 0.56 mg/kg dw, respectively. The calculated target hazard quotient values for Li, Zn, Sr and Cd were 138.7, 1.9, 4.1 and 0.76, respectively; therefore the consumption of these fish poses a health risk to humans in the area.


Trace elements Hydrocynus forskahlii Lake Turkana Target hazard quotient (THQ) 



We thank the Austrian Agency for International Cooperation in Education and Research (OeAD-GmbH), Centre for International Cooperation and Mobility (ICM) for funding this study through a scholarship/grant award within the Austrian Partnership Programme in Higher Education and Research for development-APPEAR. We also thank the Kenya Marine Fisheries Research Intitute (KMFRI), Turkana for provision of laboratory space, facilities and technical assistance and; The National Council of Science and Technology, Kenya for issuance of research permit number NCST/RR1/12/1/BS011/46.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 2015

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Institute of Inorganic ChemistryUniversity of ViennaViennaAustria
  2. 2.Biological Sciences DepartmentEgerton UniversityEgertonKenya
  3. 3.Department of Environmental GeosciencesUniversity of ViennaViennaAustria
  4. 4.Department of ZoologyUniversity of JohannesburgAuckland ParkSouth Africa

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