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Vertical physicochemical parameter distributions and health risk assessment for trace metals in water columns in eastern Lake Tanganyika, Tanzania

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Abstract

The vertical distributions of trace metals and physicochemical parameters in water columns in Kigoma Bay and Kungwe Bay in eastern Lake Tanganyika, Tanzania, were studied. The Al, Ba, Ca, Co, K, Mg, Mn, Mo, Na, Sn, Sr, and V concentrations were low and varied very little with depth. The toxic heavy metal (As, Cr, Cu, Ni, Pb, and Zn) concentrations were relatively high in the surface water, and the Cu, Ni, Pb, and Zn concentrations decreased with depth. Principal component and cluster analyses indicated that the metals in the lake had three main sources. Al, Ba, Ca, Co, Cu, Cr, Mn, Sr, Sn, and V were found to be geogenic; As, Cr, Cu, Mo, Ni, Pb, Sn and Zn anthropogenic; and As, Ca, Co, Mg, and Na biogenic. Human health risk assessments were performed, and it was found that trace metals in the water at most of the sampling sites would cause no potential adverse effects or non-carcinogenic health risks through dermal contact or ingestion. However, trace metals in surface water in Kungwe Bay could have certain adverse effects on human health through the ingestion pathway (the total hazard quotient for ingestion (ΣHQing ) was 1.75 (a value >1 was defined as possibly indicating adverse effects). The Pb ΣHQing for surface water in Kungwe Bay was 1.50 and contributed >80% of the ΣHQing, implying that Pb pollution is a water quality and safety problem that needs to be carefully monitored and the potential sources identified.

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Acknowledgement

We express our gratitude to Mr. Huruma Fredrick Mgana from the Tanzania Fisheries Research Institute Kigoma Centre and the crew of RV ECHO who helped with the sampling work in Lake Tanganyika despite very harsh weather conditions. We thank Associate Professor Dr. ZHU Yuxin from the State Key Laboratory of Lake Science and Environment, Nanjing Institute of Geography and Limnology of the Chinese Academy of Sciences for his kind help with trace element analyses. We would also like to thank two anonymous reviewers very much for their helpful and constructive comments. We thank Gareth Thomas, PhD, from Edanz Group (www.edanzediting.com/ac) for editing a draft of this manuscript. The authors declare that they have no confl ict of interests.

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Correspondence to Lu Zhang.

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Supported by the Construction Plan for Overseas Scientific Education Base of the Chinese Academy of Sciences (No. SAJC201609), the National Natural Science Foundation of China (No. 51409241), and the National Key Research and Development Program of China (No. 2016YFE0123300)

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Shen, Q., Zhang, L., Kimirei, I. et al. Vertical physicochemical parameter distributions and health risk assessment for trace metals in water columns in eastern Lake Tanganyika, Tanzania. J. Ocean. Limnol. 37, 134–145 (2019). https://doi.org/10.1007/s00343-019-7351-6

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