American Journal of Environmental Sciences

Health Risk Assessment of Heavy Metals Contamination in Edible Fish Species from the Barekese Reservoir in Kumasi, Ghana

Eric Gyimah, Osei Akoto and Collins Nimako

American Journal of Environmental Sciences


Heavy metals pollution and it resultant accumulation to toxic levels in the Barekese Reservoir may threaten human health through the consumption of fish from the Reservoir. The presence and concentrations of arsenic and some other heavy metals (Hg, Pb, Ni, Cr, and Cd) were determined in muscle tissues of widely distributed and highly consumed fish species from the Barekese reservoir using Atomic Absorption Spectrophotometry. A total of 45 fish samples comprising three species (Oreochromis niloticus, Tilapia zilli and Heterotis niloticus) were analyzed for their metals levels. Heavy metals concentrations (mg/kg, w.w) recorded showed varying trends of detection among muscle tissues of selected fish species. However, Hg, Ni, Cr and Cd were detected in muscle tissues of all fish species examined in the study. Indices for non-carcinogenic and carcinogenic risks were estimated for children and adult upon their consumption of fish from the Reservoir. Results of the study indicated a significant levels of exposure to Hg, Ni, Cr and Cd through the consumption of fish species from the Reservoir. Health risk assessment also revealed that children are at a relatively higher non-carcinogenic risk through the consumption of metals in Heterotis niloticus whiles the consumption of Cr from all examined fish species from the Reservoir could pose cancer risk health effects to humans with adults being at a higher risk. The present study therefore concludes that anthropogenic activities along the Offin River and within the Reservoir’s catchments are deteriorating the quality of fish from the Reservoir and could pose a significant adverse health risk to consumers.


© 2018 Eric Gyimah, Osei Akoto and Collins Nimako. This is an open access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author and source are credited.