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Pakistan Journal of Biological Sciences
Year: 2016  |  Volume: 19  |  Issue: 3  |  Page No.: 115 - 121

Level of Heavy Metals in Two Highly Consumed Fish Species at District Lower Dir, Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, Pakistan

Sana Ullah, Said Hassan and Kuldeep Dhama    

Abstract: The current study was designed to assess heavy metals’ concentration in muscle tissues of two Chinese carps, common carp (Cyprinus carpio) and silver carp (Hypophthalmichthys molitrix), available to consumers in markets at district Lower Dir, Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, Pakistan. Fish specimens were collected from three main markets in the study area namely; Chakdara, Timergara and Khall. Heavy metals including; manganese (Mn), lead (Pb), iron (Fe), copper (Cu), zinc (Zn), cadmium (Cd) and cobalt (Co) were investigated using atomic absorption spectrophotometer. Cobalt was not detected in any of the fish specimens while the rest of the metals were lying within the permissible limits suggested by FAO/WHO and ITS for food/fish consumption. The results showed a statistically significant (p<0.05) difference between both species with respect to the concentration of the accumulated heavy metals. In common carp, the heavy metal accumulation was in order of Fe>Mn>Zn>Pb>Cu>Cd, while in silver carp the order was Fe>Mn>Zn>Pb>Cd>Cu. Higher concentration of Pb, Mn, Zn, Cu and Cd was recorded in muscle of common carp while the concentration of Fe was higher in silver carp, indicating higher potential of accumulation of heavy metals in common carp. Statistically significant (p<0.05) correlation was observed between Pb and Zn in common carp while between Cu and Cd in silver carp. The concentration of heavy metals was in the suggested permissible limits and poses no threat if consumed. In order to maintain the heavy metals level within permissible limits, proper care should be taken along with regular assessment.

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