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Bioaccumulation of heavy metals in some fauna and flora


Bioaccumulation of heavy metals in fauna and flora in the Ijaw area of the Niger Delta of Nigeria were investigated. The fauna-molluscs and Crustacea, and flora Hibiscus esculentus and vernonia amygdalina were selected for this study. Results show that Molluscs and Crustacea accumulate considerable amounts of heavy metals. Higher levels of all the metals determined Hg, Pb, Cr, Cu, Ni, and Zn were observed in the shells than in the fleshly tissues. Hibiscus esculentus and vernonia amygdalina also accumulated these heavy metals. The mercury levels in the roots of Hibiscus esculentus and vernonia amygdalina is 0.010 μg/g ± 0.00, while the stem 0.17 ± 0.03 μg/g and leaves 0.25 ± 0.02μg/g was recorded for the v. amygdalina. The H. esculenta fruit has lead levels of 0.22 ± 0.03 μg/g. The levelsof Cu, Ni, and Zn are generally higher than those of Hg, Pb and Cr in all the samples analyzed. There is a growing concern about the physiological and behavioral effects of environmental trace metals in human population. The toxicity of lead at high levels of exposure is well known but of a major concern is the possibility that continual exposure to relatively low levels of these heavy metals through the consumption of these fauna and flora may entail adverse health effects.

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Correspondence to B. C. Gbaruko M.Sc, Ph.D..

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Gbaruko, B.C., Friday, O.V. Bioaccumulation of heavy metals in some fauna and flora. Int. J. Environ. Sci. Technol. 4, 197–202 (2007).

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  • Heavy metals
  • industrial effluents
  • molluscs
  • Crustacea
  • Hibisucs esculentus
  • vernonia amygdalina
  • toxicity
  • bioaccumulation