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Aims: The present study aimed to determine the growth indices of the Nile Tilapia, detected levels of Cu, Pb, Zn, and Cr in muscles of Tilapia and expected the potential adverse human health risks according to USEPA methodologies.
Study Design: The design of the study depended on the determination of the impact of the drainage waste water on the fish quality, ecosystem health and human health.
Place and Duration of the Study: the study investigated five sampling sites, two sites in the Torrent drainage channel and three sites on the Nile River during winter and summer seasons of 2014-2015 at Beni-Suef governorate in Egypt.
Methodology: Fish tissue samples were dried at 105°C for 6 hours, burned in a muffle furnace for 6 hours at 550°C, acid-digested, and diluted with deionized water to known volume using the dry-ashing procedure. All the digested samples were analyzed by flame atomic absorption spectrophotometer (Perkin-Elmer, Model 2380). Analytical blanks were run in the same way as the samples, and standard solutions were prepared in the same acid matrix.
Results: Metals were found to accumulate in fish muscles at the following order Zn> Cu> Cr> Pb. Levels of Zn and Pb exceeded the permissible limits of the world health organization (WHO) especially during summer season. The calculated hazard quotients for all the detected metals did not pose unacceptable risks at both consumption rates, but the excessive and continuous consumption of fish from the current sampling sites could induce cancer for habitual consumers.
Conclusion: The present study could be considered as a beginning for further investigations for the health status of Nile River aquatic ecosystems and human populations feeding on fish produced from the study area.