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Assessment of trace elements in some commonly consumed fish species marketed in Kathmandu, Nepal

Author Affiliations

  • 1Department of Zoology, Padma Kanya Multiple Campus, Tribhuvan University, Nepal
  • 2Department of Chemistry, Butwal Multiple Campus, Tribhuvan University, Nepal
  • 3Global Environment Consutant Limited, Dhaka, Bangladesh
  • 4Department of Chemistry, Padma Kanya Multiple Campus, Tribhuvan University, Nepal

Res.J.chem.sci., Volume 7, Issue (2), Pages 42-48, February,18 (2017)


In recent years, the consumption of fish in Nepal has been increasing largely due to its high nutritional value. However, it could bring serious health impacts due to heavy metals in elevated quantity since bioaccumulation of metals in aquatic inhabitants enter into human body through food chain. In this study, levels of Pb and Cd were determined by Atomic Absorption Spectrophotometer (AAS) in a total of 20 fish samples of four fish species viz., Buhari (Wallago attu), Mugree (Clarias batrachus), Catla (Catla catla) and Rohu (Labeo rohita) marketed in Kathmandu. Four various organs (liver, flesh, intestine and gills) of each fish species were analyzed as potential sites for accumulation of these toxic metals. The overall concentration ranges considering all the organs for the metals analyzed in mg kg-1 (dry basis) were Pb (0.02 – 0.47) and Cd (0.01 – 0.29) for Buhari (Wallago attu), Pb (0.02 – 1.29) and Cd (0.04 – 0.24) for Mugree (Clarias batrachus), Pb (0.02 – 0.11) and Cd (0.01 – 0.22) for Catla (Catla catla) and Pb (0.02 – 1.10) and Cd (0.01 – 0.39) for Rohu (Labeo rohita). The results also revealed variation in metal concentration in various organs of the fish species. All the fish samples except Buhari (Wallago attu) recorded higher accumulation of Pb and Cd in gills. An estimation of Pb and Cd weekly intake through the fish consumption was also investigated. The results showed that the concentrations of Pb and Cd in these fish species did not exceed the maximum permitted limits set forth by FAO/WHO indicating that they are safe for human consumption. However, a regular monitoring and assessment of toxic contaminants in fish marketed in Kathmandu is needed to help safeguard the health of humans and environment as well.


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