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Total Mercury in Fish, Sediments and Soil from the River Pra Basin, Southwestern Ghana

Abstract

Total Mercury (Hg) concentrations were determined in soil, river sediments and six (6) species of fish from the River Pra Basin in southwestern Ghana by Cold Vapour Atomic Absorption Spectrometry. Mercury concentration (μg g−1) ranged from 0.042 to 0.145 for soil: from 0.390 to 0.707 for sediments and from <0.001 to 0.370 for fish. All the fish samples had Hg concentration below the World Health Organisation (WHO) permissible limit of 0.5 μg g−1 whereas all the sediment samples had levels higher than the US-EPA value of 0.2 μg g−1. The results obtained from this study showed that fish from River Pra Basin are unlikely to constitute any significant mercury exposure to the public through consumption. No apparent trend of increasing mercury concentration along the main river as it flows downward toward the sea was observed.

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Acknowledgments

The authors would like to thank Mr. Munir Abdullah Dawood of Pure and Applied Biology Department, Faculty of Biosciences, Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology for identifying the fish species.

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Correspondence to R. B. Voegborlo.

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Oppong, S.O.B., Voegborlo, R.B., Agorku, S.E. et al. Total Mercury in Fish, Sediments and Soil from the River Pra Basin, Southwestern Ghana. Bull Environ Contam Toxicol 85, 324–329 (2010). https://doi.org/10.1007/s00128-010-0059-0

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Keywords

  • Mercury
  • Fish
  • Soil
  • Sediment
  • River Pra basin
  • Ghana