What is it about?

This study investigated the heavy metal and hydrocarbon pollution status of Orashi River in four communities of Imo and Anambra States of Nigeria. Water and fish (Oreochromis niloticus and Clarias gariepinus) samples were analyzed for dry and wet seasons. Results of analyses indicated hydrocarbon pollution. Hardness, alkalinity, nitrate, chloride, phosphate, and sulphate were significantly higher (p < 0.05) in wet season samples. Arsenic was undetected in water samples, but higher cadmium and iron concentrations were recorded in the wet season samples. Lead concentrations in the wet season were higher at some sites than the World Health Organization guideline. Arsenic was detected in Clarias at three sites in both seasons, but iron concentrations were significantly higher (p < 0.05) than those of other metals. Lead concentrations in Clarias gariepinus were lower than the Codex limit (0.3 mg/kg) except in the muscle samples from four sites. Arsenic was undetected in Oreochromis niloticus muscle samples but concentrations for lead (0.851 ± 0.203-8.604 ± 1.264 mg/kg (dry season) and 0.627 ± 0.035-9.364 ± 0.786 mg/kg (wet season)) exceeded the Codex limits in all samples. Health risk indices for the species indicated potential risk to the population from the consumption of Oreochromis niloticus. Efforts should be made for decontamination to prevent eventual loss of the aquatic flora.

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Why is it important?

Oil pollution cause contamination of rivers and the aquatic flora. There is need to prevent oil pollution of rivers and develop mitigation measures for improved food security and healthy living


Polluted rivers should not be used as sources of drinking water. Mitigation measures to preserve aquatic life should be put in place

Professor Philippa C OJIMELUKWE
Michael Okpara University of Agriculture Umudike, Abia state, Nigeria

Read the Original

This page is a summary of: Seasonal hydrocarbon and metal assessment of water and fish from oil producing communities along Orashi River, Nigeria, Environmental Monitoring and Assessment, December 2021, Springer Science + Business Media,
DOI: 10.1007/s10661-021-09683-x.
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