Assessment of heavy metals in sediments and aquatic organisms in West Lake (Ho Tay), Hanoi, Vietnam
West Lake (Ho Tay) is the largest freshlake in Hanoi, Vietnam. It has a surface area of ≈ 500 ha and a total volume of >107 m3, and is 1–3.5 m in depth. West Lake has been classified as needing protection because of its valuable freshwater genetic resources. Noting that it has been extensively affected by pollution, the objective of the present study was to examine the extent of heavy metal contamination of the sediments and commercially important biota in the lake. Heavy metal concentrations in the sediment from most of 24 samples in West Lake exceeded the Ontario Ministry of Environment Screening Level for chromium (Cr), copper (Cu), manganese (Mn), lead (Pb) and zinc (Zn) concentrations. Aquatic organisms from the lake also were found to be contaminated by heavy metals. The average Zn concentrations in snails and mussels tissues ranged between 174 and 415 µg g−1, and the Pb concentrations between 3.5 and 5.2 µg g−1. The Cu concentration in shrimp (52 µg g−1) and snail (189 µg g−1), and the Pb concentration in all fish species and shrimp from the lake (2.0–5.2 µg g−1) exceeded the Food Standard Australia-New Zealand (FSANZ) health standards for human consumption. The Cd concentration in Cyprinus carpio also exceeded the FSANZ standard. The implications of these study findings for the effective management of the food and ecological resources of West Lake are discussed.