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A human risk assessment for metal pollution in Lake Tanganyika Tanzania
Mosille, J.B. (2014). A human risk assessment for metal pollution in Lake Tanganyika Tanzania. MSc Thesis. VUB/Universiteit Gent/University of Antwerp: Brussels, Gent, Antwerp. 18, vi, 33 pp.

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Document type: Dissertation

    Fresh water
Author keywords
    lake Tanganyika, metal contamination, human health risk

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  • Mosille, J.B.

    The last decades, water pollution has become a big problem due to the increase of industrial, agricultural and urban activities. All forms of contaminants might end up into lakes by direct discharge, run-off or via rivers entering into lakes. This study was conducted to determine the status of metal contamination in Lake Tanganyika. Samples of sediment, water and fish tissue from northern and southern sites of the Tanzanian part of Lake Tanganyika were analyzed. In this study, twelve different metals were analyzed: Cr, Mn, Co, Cu, Ni, Zn, As, Cd, Pb, and Hg. The results show that metal concentrations in the water for most metals such as Cr, Co, Zn, Ni and As were either close to or below the detection limit. The metal concentrations in the sediment samples were higher compared to metal levels in the surface water for most metals, with concentrations being higher in the northern part than the southern part of the lake. The concentrations in fish tissues varied between stations. Generally, the concentrations of metals were higher in the gills and livers than in the muscles. Human risk assessment was performed to determine whether the fish are safe for human consumption, based on the average per capita fish consumption of the Tanzanian population of 17g a day according to (FAO, 2005). In comparison with the agency for toxic substances and disease registry (ATSDR, 2013) minimum risk levels, it was found that the fish from Lake Tanganyika are still safe for human consumption.

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