Assessment of Hazardous Metal Concentrations in Organs of Selected Game Animals in the Natural Environment

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Dartey, Emmanuel
Sarpong, K.
F.R.K. Bonsu, F.R.K.
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Journal of Environmental Science and Pollution Research
The study was conducted to determine the levels of hazardous metals in game animals. A total of eighteen (18) animals which comprised six species of three (3) each from the same location were trapped or hunted and sacrificed. Organs analyzed for hazardous metal levels were skin, liver, kidney and heart using Atomic Absorption Spectrometry and content expressed in mgkg-1. The statistical analysis was done with Genstat (2007). Results obtained showed that all the hazardous metals under study were present in the organs at variable concentrations. Lead: skin (0.18 – 0.46) mgkg-1, liver (0.03 – 0.4) mgkg-1, heart (0.25 – 0.58) mgkg-1 and kidney (0.38 1.12) mgkg-1; Cadmium: skin (0.08 – 0.58) mgkg-1 and kidney (0.09 – 0.7) mgkg-1; Zinc : skin ( 0.46 – 0.66) mgkg-1, liver (90.04 – 0.82) mgkg-1, heart (0.42 – 1.21) mgkg-1 and kidney (0.43 – 1.58) mgkg-1; Copper: skin (6.13 – 12.57) mgkg-1, liver (5.1 – 9.56) mgkg -1, heart (6.89 - 15.15) mgkg-1 and kidney (7.63 – 24.87) mgkg-1; Iron : skin (9.53 – 26.35) mgkg-1, liver (8.07 -28.08) mgkg-1, heart (13.83 - 46.40) mgkg-1 and kidney (12.43 – 47.61) mgkg-1. Iron was highly (p <0.05) deposited in all species of animals in the heart 19.88 mgkg-1, 46.40 mgkg-1, 40.83 mgkg-1, 13.83 mgkg-1 and 41.38 mgkg-1 respectively for civet (Civettictis civeta), antelope (Antilocapra americana), grasscutter (Thryonomys swiderianus), hedgehog (Atelerix albiventris) and bush dog (Speothos venaticus) except the bush rat (Rattus fuscipes) that had its highest deposition (46.71 mgkg-1) in the kidney. Copper was also highly deposited in animals after iron with higher concentrations in heart and kidney. The highest concentration was recorded for bush rat (Rattus fuscipes) (15.15 mgkg-1) in heart and 24.87 mgkg-1 in kidney. Due to bioaccumulation of hazardous metals, care should be taken in patronizing bushmeat obtained from the studied ecosystem since failure could be perilous to the health of consumers as their concentrations are beyond the safe limits for the respective metals. It is further recommended that environmental safety principles for safe disposal of hazardous metals are appropriately carried out.
Maľová, J., Ciberej, J., Maľa, P., Zigo, F., & Semjon, B. (2019). Heavy metal levels in the tissues of wild living animals from two distinct industrially exploited areas in Slovakia. Slovak Journal of Animal Science, 52(03), 100-110.