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Polycyclic aromatic compounds (PAHs and oxygenated PAHs) and trace metals in fish species from Ghana (West Africa): Bioaccumulation and health risk assessment.

Type of publication Peer-reviewed
Publikationsform Original article (peer-reviewed)
Publication date 2014
Author Bandowe Benjamin, Bigalke Moritz, Boamah Linda, Nyarko Elvis, Kwesi Saalia Firibu, Wilcke Wolfgang,
Project Oxidierte polyzyklische aromatische Kohlenwasserstoffe im Boden
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Original article (peer-reviewed)

Journal Environment International
Volume (Issue) 65
Page(s) 135 - 146
Title of proceedings Environment International
DOI 10.1016/j.envint.2013.12.018


We report the concentrations of 28 PAHs, 15 oxygenated PAHs (OPAHs) and 11 trace metals/metalloids (As, Cd, Co, Cr, Cu, Fe, Mn, Ni, Pb, Se, and Zn) in muscle and gut + gill tissues of demersal fishes (Drapane africana, Cynoglossus senegalensis and Pomadasys peroteti) from three locations along the coast of the Gulf of Guinea (Ghana). The concentrations ofΣ28PAHs in muscle tissues averaged 192 ng g−1 dw (range: 71–481 ng g−1 dw) and were not statistically different between locations. The concentrations ofΣ28 PAHs were higher in guts + gills than in muscles. The PAH composition pattern was dominated by lowmolecularweight compounds (naphthalene, alkyl-naphthalenes and phenanthrene). All fish tissues had benzo[a]pyrene concentrations lower than the EU limit for food safety. Excess cancer risk fromconsumption of some fishwas higher than the guideline value of 1 × 10−6. The concentrations of Σ15 OPAHs in fish muscles averaged 422 ng g−1 dw (range: 28–1715 ng g−1dw). TheΣ15 OPAHs/Σ16 US-EPA PAHs concentration ratio was N1 in 68% of the fishmuscles and 100% of guts + gills. The log-transformed concentrations of PAHs and OPAHs in muscles, guts + gills were significantly (p b 0.05) correlated with their octanol–water partitioning coefficients, strongly suggesting that equilibrium partitioning from water/sediment into fish tissue was the main mechanism of bioaccumulation. The trace metal concentrations in the fish tissues were in the medium range when compared to fish from other parts of theworld. The concentrations of some tracemetals (Cd, Cu, Fe,Mn, Zn)were higher in guts + gills than in muscle tissues. The target hazard quotients formetalswere b 1 and did not indicate a danger to the local population.We conclude that the health risk arising fromthe consumption of the studied fish (due to their PAHs and trace metals content) is minimal.