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Heavy metal pollution in a sewage-fed lake of Bhopal, (M. P.) India

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Shahpura Lake receives untreated domestic sewage from residential areas in Bhopal city. Analysis of water, plankton, fish and sediment reveals that the lake is contaminated by certain heavy metals. The concentrations of some of these metals including iron and manganese were within acceptable limits, whereas others including chromium, nickel, zinc and lead were not within acceptable water quality limits. Metal concentrations in the sewage inlet drain and lake sediment were compared with published criteria. The comparison revealed that the metals in the sediment ranged from the ‘non-polluted’ to the ‘heavy pollution’ categories. The reference dose was calculated by the adoption of the United States Environmental Protection Agency reference dose factor, and the result reveals that the local population is not exposed to undue health risks. Concentrations of heavy metals in the water increased during the second year of the study, indicating an increase in the pollution load on the system. This might increase the bioaccumulation levels in fish and increase the actual dose of metals to which the local population will be exposed.
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Keywords: health risk; metal accumulation; metal contamination

Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: 1: Department of Limnology, Barkatullah University, Bhopal 462 003, India, and 2: Council of Science and Technology, Bhopal 462 003, India.

Publication date: 01 March 2003

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