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Assessment of Human Health Risks Associated with Heavy Metals Accumulation in the Freshwater Fish Pangasianodon hypophthalmus in Bangladesh

Abstract

In this study, pangas and feed samples were analyzed to estimate the levels of metallic elements and to profile the human health risks due to consumption of contaminated fish. This investigation confirmed significant variations in heavy metal concentrations among different tissues of pangas in the order of Ni > Cu > Pb > Cd > Cr in pre-monsoon and Ni > Cd = Cu > Pb = Cr in post-monsoon. Considerably higher concentrations of Pb, Cu, and Cr were estimated in liver; and Cd and Ni were detected in muscle than in other organs (p > 0.05). Statistically significant higher amounts of Cd, Ni, and Cu were observed in pre-monsoon than in post-monsoon. Furthermore, three metal pairs showed significant association (Pb–Ni and Pb–Cu involved positively; Cd–Ni acted negatively). In pre-monsoon, Cd, Pb, Ni, and Cu concentrations of feed significantly differed than those of pangas contents, whereas only Cu varied during the post-monsoon. Regression analysis revealed the significant effect of Ni content in feed on the Cu deposition of pangas (p-value 0.027, that was < 0.05). For the assessment of potential human health risk of the studied metals, estimated daily intake (EDI), target hazard quotient (THQ), hazard index (HI), and carcinogenic risk (CR) indices were calculated. Studied EDI indicated that an average adult ingested a higher amount of Ni and Cu than the recommended intake limit. Nevertheless, only the higher EDI of Ni increases the value of THQ and HI than standard limit indicates adverse non-carcinogenic risk. However, lower CR of Pb confirmed no serious health hazard due to the ingestion of pangas. Factor analysis through principal component and cluster analysis suggested that higher concentrations of Pb and Ni may be regulated by the feed used, geochemical properties, or rapid industrialization in the study area. A proper monitoring for controlling the quality of fish feed with sustainable planning for industrialization could secure the booming of pangasius aquaculture in Bangladesh.

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Data Availability

The data that support the findings of this study are available on request from the corresponding author.

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Acknowledgements

The authors would like to thank Mst Khadiza Begum for her assistance in laboratory works and useful revision of the manuscript.

Funding

This research did not receive any specific grant from funding agencies in the public, commercial, or not-for-profit sectors. However, Md Abdullah-hil Maruf received National Science and Technology (NST) fellowship of Bangladesh as MS research student.

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Maruf, M.Ah., Punom, N.J., Saha, B. et al. Assessment of Human Health Risks Associated with Heavy Metals Accumulation in the Freshwater Fish Pangasianodon hypophthalmus in Bangladesh. Expo Health 13, 337–359 (2021). https://doi.org/10.1007/s12403-021-00387-8

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Keywords

  • Pangasianodon hypophthalmus
  • Heavy metals
  • THQ
  • Hazard Index
  • Bioaccumulation