Potential Ecological Risk Index and Metals Residue in Tropical Brackish Water Snail (Pachymelania byronensis Wood, 1828) of the Lower Niger River Basin, Nigeria
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The potential ecological risk index (RI) was employed to evaluate water quality and sediment pollution of heavy metals in the fish Town Rivers, Nigeria. The propensity of the presence of the heavy metals residue in a common brackish water snail (Pachymelania byronensis) that serves as food for human was also examined. Fine-grained surficial sediments from natural depositional zones were collected using Ekman dredge, pooled together and analyzed for the present of heavy metals. The snail samples were randomly hand-picked from the edge of the Rivers or attached to the substrata from August, 2017 to January, 2018 depicting wet season (August - October) and dry season (November - January). A total of 144 P. byronensis (24 per station) were sampled for this investigation. The concentrations of the heavy metals concentration in the sediments and snail tissues were analyzed using graphite furnace absorption spectrometry. The order of occurrence of the metal in the snail is Zn > Cu > Fe > Pb > Cd and their levels remain within their permissible safe levels for human consumption as stipulated by the various regulatory bodies. The risk factor for the metals in the sediments revealed that the Rivers is moderately at risk, which may not pose serious environmental threat and health risks to the resident organisms, but may be magnify along the trophic level. Therefore, sensitization of the inhabitants becomes inevitable, since the level is at threshold, above which may be detrimental.
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