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Adedeji O.B., Adeyemo O.K. and Oyedele M.O., 2011.

Heavy Metals in Snail and Water Samples from Alaro River in


ISSN 0126-2807
Oluyole Industrial Area of Ibadan Southwestern Nigeria.
Volume 6, Number 2: 115-121, June, 2011
T2011 Department of Environmental Engineering
Sepuluh Nopember Institute of Technology, Surabaya
& Indonesian Society of Sanitary and Environmental Engineers, Jakarta
Open Access http://www.trisanita.org/jases

This work is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 Unported License, which permits
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Research Paper

HEAVY METALS IN SNAIL AND WATER SAMPLES FROM ALARO RIVER IN


OLUYOLE INDUSTRIAL AREA OF IBADAN SOUTHWESTERN NIGERIA
ADEDEJI O.B.*, ADEYEMO O.K. and OYEDELE M.O.
Department of Veterinary Public Health and Preventive Medicine, University of Ibadan, Nigeria.
*Corresponding Author: Phone: 2348034917181; Fax: 23428103043; E-Mail: oluadedeji2001@yahoo.com,
olufemi.adedeji@mail.ui.edu.ng
Received: 29nd September 2010; Revised: 13th January 2011; Accepted: 24th February 2011

Abstract: The status of heavy metal pollutants of the Alaro River within the Oluyole
Industrial area in Ibadan Southwestern Nigeria was determined. The concentration and
bioconcentration of the lead, arsenic, chromium and cadmium were determined in water
and snail using Atomic Absorption Spectrophotometer. The level of heavy metals in
water detected in Papa and Odo-Ona streams was in the order of Chromium 0.063
0.009mg mgL-1 >Lead 0.006 0.004 mgL-1 > Cadmium 0.005 0.003 mgL-1 >
Arsenic0.003 0.001 mgL-1 and Chromium 0.078 0.037 mgL-1 > Cadmium 0.005
0.001 mgL-1 > Arsenic 0.005 0.003 mgL-1 > Lead 0.004 0.001 mgL-1 respectively.
However, there were no significant differences (p=0.65, 0.45, 1, 0.53) in the levels of
lead, arsenic, cadmium and chromium at the two points respectively at 95% confidence
limit. Heavy metals accumulated in in-dwelling snails in the order Chromium>Lead>
Arsenic > Cadmium for both Papa and Odo-ona stream. There were no significant
differences (p= 0.69, 0.24, 0.72, 0.71) in the levels of lead, arsenic, cadmium and
chromium at the two points respectively at 95% confidence limit. Bioconcentration factor
(BCF) of the heavy metals was in the order of Arsenic>Lead>Cadmium>Chromium and
Lead>Arsenic>Cadmium>Chromium for Papa and Odo-ona streams respectively.
Bioconcentration factor (6.5) of Lead in Odo-ona stream was significantly (P=0.05)
higher that the BCFs of other metals in both Papa and Odo-Ona streams. The Public
Health implication is discussed.
Keywords: Heavy metals, industrial area, pollutant, bioconcentration, river

INTRODUCTION
Pollution is the introduction of contaminants into an environment that causes instability,
disorder, harm or discomfort to the ecosystem i.e., physical systems or living organisms (1). This
can take the form of chemical substances, or energy, such as noise, heat, or light. Environmental
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Adedeji O.B., Adeyemo O.K. and Oyedele M.O., 2011. Heavy Metals in Snail and Water Samples from Alaro River in
Oluyole Industrial Area of Ibadan Southwestern Nigeria.

pollutants from many different sources contaminate water, air and land, putting humans and
ecosystems at risk and often pitting people against industry. The term pollution of the
environment herein refers to an increase of trace elements beyond the tolerable limits of the
environment (2). This increase may be related to human activities, which could be industrial
and/or agricultural practices.
Biologic and environmental systems produce substances that can alter the usefulness of
water. Water is the most important component of any aquaculture operation. An adequate water
source is the primary prerequisite for locating traditional, extensive aquaculture, such as ponds or
raceways. In recirculation aquaculture, water supply is somewhat less critical since water used is
so much less. The best source of water is underground water because it is usually free of
pollution and pathogens and is of consistent temperature. As water becomes more polluted, it
becomes less useful. Heavy metal pollutants in the environment are of immense concern globally
because of their toxic nature to both plants and animals habitats this research was conducted to
assess the pollution status (heavy metals) of Alaro River at Oluyole Industrial Estate, Ibadan,
which is a receptacle of untreated industrial and domestic wastes.
MATERIALS AND METHODS
Study Area
Ibadan the capital of Oyo State is located in Western Nigeria. Ibadan is the largest city in
West Africa and the second largest in Africa, with land size covering an area of 240km2 and with
human population of 1, 222, 570 by 1991 census and was projected to have a population of
3,139.500 by 2003 ("http://media.fastclick.net/). The city is located on geographic grid reference
longitude 3o 5E, latitude 7o 20N (3) Ibadan is situated at an average height of 200m above sea
level, drained by four river basins and surrounded by secondary rainforest as well as a savanna.
Spatially, it sprawls over a radius of 12-15 km and experiences a mainly tropical climate with an
estimated annual rainfall of about 1250 mm (4).
Samples Collection
Water samples were collected into clean sterile 250ml sampling bottles as described by (5)
at five points along the flow path of Alaro River. Samples were collected from upstream/source (at
Odo-Ona), three points within the industrial estate, while the final sample was collected at Eleyele
(downstream, Alaro river). Samples were collected weekly for 5 weeks within the dry season
(October-March) and repeated for another five weeks during the rainy season (July-September).
Sampling was done between the hours of 8.30 and 11.00 am.
Quality assurance
Plastic and glassware used were soaked in 1 M nitric acid over night (6) and washed with
teepol, rinsed with tap water and finally with deionised water.
Analyses
Digestion of sample: 200.00 cm3 of the water sample was mixed with HCl/HNO3 acid i.e.,
3.00 cm3 of 1:1 mixture of 8M HCL/8M HNO3. The mixture was slight concentrated to 19.00 cm3
by heating and this was made up to 25.00 cm3, stored in a treated polyethylene bottle and made
ready for AAS measurement (using UNICAM, 969).
One gram of the dried pulverized snail sample was weighed into a 200 cm3 kjeldahl flask
and 20 cm3 of the digestion mixture (1:1 mixture of 8M HCl/8M HNO3) was added. The mixture
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Journal of Applied Sciences in Environmental Sanitation, 6 (2): 115-121.

Adedeji O.B., Adeyemo O.K. and Oyedele M.O., 2011. Heavy Metals in Snail and Water Samples from Alaro River in
Oluyole Industrial Area of Ibadan Southwestern Nigeria.

was allowed to stand for 24 h before digestion under reflux. The reflux lasted for 45 min and it
was observed that the sample was soluble. This sample was later heated a little to remove the
brown fumes (NO2). The solution was then cooled and made up to 50 cm3 with distilled water and
stored in treated polythene bottle for AAS analysis. Bioconcentration levels of the metals in the
Snails were calculated according to 7.
Data collected from the study were computed into means and standard deviation. Group
means were compared statistically using student t-test, analysis of variance (ANOVA) and Post
Hoc tests (Duncan).
RESULTS AND DISCUSSION
Heavy metals (lead, arsenic, chromium and Cadmium) in River and Snail samples
Levels of lead, arsenic, chromium and Cadmium in the water and snail samples are
presented below as Figures 1 and 2 respectively. The level of heavy metals in water detected in
papa and Odo-Ona streams was in the order of Chromium>Lead>Cadmium>Arsenic and
Chromium> Cadmium > Arsenic >Lead respectively. However, there were no significant
differences (p=0.65, 0.45, 1, 0.53) in the levels of lead, arsenic, cadmium and chromium at the
two points respectively at 95% confidence limit. Heavy metals accumulated in in-dwelling snails in
the order Chromium>Lead> Arsenic > Cadmium for both papa and Odo-ona stream. There were
no significant differences (p= 0.69, 0.24, 0.72, 0.71) in the levels of lead, arsenic, cadmium and
chromium at the two points respectively at 95% confidence limit. Bioconcentration factors of the
metals (lead, arsenic, chromium and Cadmium) are presented as Figure 3. Bioconcentration
factor (BCF) of the heavy metals was in the order of Arsenic>Lead>Cadmium>Chromium and
Lead>Arsenic>Cadmium>Chromium for papa stream and Odo-ona streams respectively. Anova
shows that the bioconcentration factor (6.5) of Lead in Odo-ona stream was significantly (P=0.05)
higher that the BCFs of other metals in both Papa and Odo-Ona streams.
0.14

0.12

Levels of heavy metals (mg/l)

0.1

0.08
Papa stream
Odo-Ona stream
0.06

0.04

0.02

0
Lead

Arsenic

Cadmium

Chromium

Heavy Metals

Fig. 1: Levels of lead, Arsenic, Cadmium and Chromium at sample points (Papa, Odo-ona) along
Alaro River

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Journal of Applied Sciences in Environmental Sanitation, 6 (2): 115-121.

Adedeji O.B., Adeyemo O.K. and Oyedele M.O., 2011. Heavy Metals in Snail and Water Samples from Alaro River in
Oluyole Industrial Area of Ibadan Southwestern Nigeria.

0.12

Levels of Heavy Metals in Snail samples (mg/kg)

0.1

0.08

Papa stream Snail Samples


Odo-Ona stream Snail Samples

0.06

0.04

0.02

0
Lead

Arsenic

Cadmium

Chromium

Heavy Metals

Fig. 2: Bioconcentration Levels of lead, Arsenic, Cadmium and Chromium in Snails from sample
points (Papa, Odo-ona) along Alaro River

Bioconcentration Factor (BCF) of Heavy Metals at Sample Points

4
BCF of metals in snails (Papa)
BCF of metals in snails (Odo-Ona)
3

0
Lead

Arsenic

Cadmium

Chromium

Heavy Metals

Fig. 3: Bioconcentration Factors of lead, Arsenic, Cadmium and Chromium in Snails from sample
points (Papa, Odo-ona) along Alaro River
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Journal of Applied Sciences in Environmental Sanitation, 6 (2): 115-121.

Adedeji O.B., Adeyemo O.K. and Oyedele M.O., 2011. Heavy Metals in Snail and Water Samples from Alaro River in
Oluyole Industrial Area of Ibadan Southwestern Nigeria.

Lead, Arsenic, Cadmium and Chromium levels in Alaro River


Heavy metals end up in the aquatic environment by a number of routes, both natural and
anthropogenic. Examples of anthropogenic sources are industry, transport, mining, municipal
wastes, agriculture, dump leachates and geothermal development. Some of these activities
spread metals into the atmosphere and are later deposited on land and water. Eleven metals are
known to be essential for aquatic life. Of the metals analyzed in this report, Cr can be included in
these criteria. These metals are seldom limiting in natural aquatic systems and most organisms
concentrate greater quantities than they actually require. Pb, As and Cd are not regarded as
essential to life, but these too are concentrated in the organism. Arsenic concentrations in rivers
are normally low, 0.0001-0.0008 mgL-1, and depend on the composition of the surface recharge,
base flow and the bedrock lithology (8). Arsenic level found in the water samples from Papa and
Odo-ona was 0.003 0.001 and 0.005 0.003 mgL-1 respectively. This is lower than the WHO
guideline value for drinking water (0.0 mgL-1) However, the levels are higher than what is normal
for a river; arsenic naturally occurs in freshwaters at levels typically less than 0.0001 mgL-1 mg/l
(9). Cadmium (Cd) concentrations in unpolluted waters are usually below 0.001 (WHO, 1993).
Cadmium concentrations in the Papa and Odo-ona streams were 0.005 0.003 and 0.005
0.001mg/l respectively (Figure 1). Both are higher than WHO guidelines (0.003 mgL-1). Effects of
Cd exposure have been observed in all trophic levels at concentrations around 0.0002 mgL-1. In
plankton, reproductivity is known to decrease at Cd concentrations of 0.00017 mg/l in natural
fresh water. In fish, chronic effects in the laboratory have been reported at concentrations of
0.0009 mgL-1 and above, with affected juvenile development stages (10). In fish, Cd primarily
accumulates in the liver, kidney and gills, and to a less extent in muscles. The biological half-life
in fish is relatively long, over a year. Acute toxicological effects include cellular damage and/or
disturbed metabolism. Long-term exposure to Cd concentrations of 0.005-0. mgL-1 affects
carbohydrate metabolism, ion regulation and blood in fish. There is also evidence of anaemia
from chronic exposure. Cd also causes damage to the gills and changes in gill-membrane have
been observed at concentrations of 0.003 mg/l mgL-1.
The lead level in the water samples from Papa and Odo-ona was 0.006 0.004 and 0.004
0.001 respectively (Figure 1). Both concentrations were close to the WHO standards (0.01mgL-1)
for drinking water. Levels of Pb > 0.1 mgL-1 have been reported to be detrimental to
foetuses and children, with possible development of neurological problems. South African
regulatory bodies has set Pb levels of 0-0.2 mgL-1 and 0.1 mgL-1 for Pb in river water for use
in irrigation and livestock watering respectively (11). Lead is widely distributed in the earths
crust, but often in low concentrations. The average content in soils and bedrock usually lies
between 2 and 100 mgL-1 and the earths crust average amount of lead is 16 mgL-1 (12). The
possibility that the level of lead in the river system could become higher than the limit is most
probable due to various dynamic influences and interactions of water chemistry and the
sediment core. For example, lower water pH can influence metal bioavailability from sediment.
United States Environmental protection Agency EPA (13) has an enforceable maximum
contaminant level of total chromium in drinking water of 0.1 mgL-1 and a maximum contaminant
level of 0.0001 mgL-1 of Chromium (Cr). In the present study, Chromium level in Papa and OdoOna was 0.063 and 0.078 mgL-1 respectively. This level is close to than the maximum
contaminant level set by EPA. Cr is very toxic to microorganisms in water and there is a high
potential for accumulation in aquatic life. Chronic and sub-lethal effects have been observed in
certain species of fish and plankton at concentration levels of 0.008-0.013 mgL-1. Another effect
of Cr exposure in fish is deformed spine.

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Journal of Applied Sciences in Environmental Sanitation, 6 (2): 115-121.

Adedeji O.B., Adeyemo O.K. and Oyedele M.O., 2011. Heavy Metals in Snail and Water Samples from Alaro River in
Oluyole Industrial Area of Ibadan Southwestern Nigeria.

Bioconcentration of Lead, Arsenic, Cadmium and Chromium in Snails from Alaro River
All aquatic organisms concentrate heavy metals from their surrounding water, sediments or
food and it is important to recognize that this is a universal and often essential process. Many
organisms are able to regulate the concentrations of metals in their tissues (and hence regulate
toxic effects) by controlling absorption, excretion, and depuration rates or by detoxification either
by changing the metal to a less toxic form or by storage at sites in
the body where the metal does not have an adverse effect. Cr is not known to accumulate in
fish to a high extent. In Canada, a maximum level of 0.020 mgL-1 is set for fish, and 0.002 mgL-1
for all other organisms (10). Chromium levels of 0.098 and 0.092 mgL-1 was recovered in snails
from Papa and Odo-Ona respectively. Accumulation levels of Arsenic, lead and Cadmium in the
snail samples was between 0.016-0.026 mgKg-1 from the two sample points (Figure 2). The safe
limits for heavy metals in seafood vary from region to region (14). The concentrations of
arsenic, cadmium and lead found in the snail from Alaro River appear to indicate it is not of public
health importance. (15) have similarly reported that oysters from the lower Bonny estuary
had cadmium concentrations in their tissue that did not suggest any hazards to human
health but cautioned on the need for continuous monitoring.
Bioconcentration factor (BCF) of Lead, Arsenic, Cadmium and Chromium in Snails from
Alaro River
Regulation of metal accumulation by organisms complicates the interpretation and
application of bioaccumulation data for aquatic and terrestrial organisms. Organisms have
evolved homeostatic mechanisms that allow metals, as naturally occurring substances, to be
stored in non-available forms. These mechanisms regulate the uptake and excretion of metals to
maintain tissue concentrations within desirable ranges, as well as to prevent toxicity. In addition
to the concentration of metal that is present in the tissue, the rate of uptake of the metal should
also be considered (16,17). In this study, BCFs was: lead (4 and 6.5); arsenic (5.3 and 4.5);
cadmium (3.2 and 3.8); chromium (1.6 and 1.2) for Papa and Odo-Ona respectively.
The fate of heavy metals and other pollutants introduced by human activities into aquatic
ecosystems have become the subject of wide spread concern, since beyond the tolerable limits
they become toxic (18,19). Determination of harmful and toxic substances in water sediments and
biota, gives direct information on the significance of pollution in the aquatic environment (20). The
ability of aquatic invertebrates to detoxify some metals or sequester them can lead to a
considerable build-up of metals in some sea-foods. It is common for metal concentrations in an
organism to increase with increasing age, notwithstanding the ability of the organism to regulate
metals concentrations (21). The majority of the serious environmental pollutants are chemically
very stable, they will therefore increase with increasing age of the animal. Herbivores therefore
accumulate the pollutants and these are further transported to and accumulated in carnivores.
This transport of toxicants in the nutrition web causes the concentrations of toxicants to increase
from one nutrition level to the next, thereby causing chain effects in ecosystems. The
magnification in each step is considered to be 3-5 times in an aquatic nutrition web (21).
CONCLUSION
As long as water is polluted, it will not only affect water-dwelling organisms, but also
terrestrial organisms that feed on aquatic organisms. The animals who in turn feed on these
terrestrial animals will also be affected. Thus, pollution can cause effects even to animals and

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Oluyole Industrial Area of Ibadan Southwestern Nigeria.

humans that are not directly dependent on the specific water area. These effects include
decreased source of food as well as magnified substance level higher up in the nutrition chain.
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