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PROJECT TOPIC: DETERMINATION OF HEAVY METAL CONCENTRATIONS IN FISH AND WATER

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CHAPTER ONE1.0 INTRODUCTION1.1 BACKGROUND OF THE STUDYAfrica is blessed with a lot of inland water bodies. These aquatic ecosystems could be lagoons, creeks, rivers, streams e.t.c. which play important role in the socio-economic lives of the riverine populace. The inhabitant of these areas depends on these water bodies as a source of livelihood, recreation among other things (Ndimele et al., 2011a). Apart from this, some of these aquatic ecosystems are major nursery grounds for fish species, so they are also important for their continuous existence (Kumolu-johnson, 2004). Fish constitutes an important and cheap source of animal protein to human beings and a large number of people depend on fish and fishing activities for their livelihood. All these benefits are threatened by industrialization in a bid to meet the growing demands of the world population. Nations are investing massively in industrialization, industrial, agricultural and domestic activities have led to the pollution of the Nigerian environment and subsequently increased the problem of waste disposals, however they are not committing enough funds to develop processes that will treat the waste generated by these industries as well as mitigate their effects on the environment and man (Ndimele et al., 2011b). A lot of industrial effluents are emptied into the aquatic environment untreated, in few cases where they are treated, the products of the treatment plants are still potentially harmful to aquatic flora, fauna and even man. One of the common components of industrial effluents is heavy metals (Kumolu-johnson et al., 2005), among environmental pollutants, metals are of particular concern, due to their potential toxic effect and ability to bioaccumulate in aquatic ecosystems (Censi et al., 2006). Therefore, knowledge of the changing concentration and distribution of heavy metals and their compounds in various compartments of the environment is a priority for good environmental management programmes all over the world (Don-Pedro et al., 2004).Over the last few decades there has been growing interest in determining heavy metals levels in aquatic environment and attention was drawn to the measurement of contamination levels in public food supplies particularly fish. Increasing human influences through heavy metal pollution have however led to the depletion of our fish resources and substantial reduction in the nutritive values (Srivastava and Srivastava, 2008). As a result of these heavy metals pollution several endemic fish species have become threatened. Heavy metal pollution is a serious and wide spread problem due to the toxic, persistent, biodegradable and bio-accumulation properties of these contaminants (Yuan et al., 2009), they are considered as major environmental pollutants causing cytotoxic, mutagenic, and carcinogenic effects in animals (Rauf et al., 2009).


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