Heavy Metals in Water, Sediment and Some Fishes of Buriganga River, Bangladesh


1 Department of Fisheries, University of Dhaka, Dhaka-1000, Bangladesh

2 Department of Zoology, Dhaka College, National University, Gazipur, Bangladesh

3 Bangladesh Atomic Energy Commission, Savar, Dhaka, Bangladesh

4 Fisheries and Marine Resource Technology Discipline, Khulna University, Khulna, Bangladesh


The spatial and temporal distribution of heavy metals in water, sediment and fish (dry weight basis) of Buriganga River, Bangladesh were determined by atomic absorption spectrophotometer. In water concentration of Pb, Cd, Ni, Cu and Cr varied seasonally and spatially from 58.17 to 72.45μg/L, 7.08 to 12.33μg/L, 7.15 to 10.32μg/L, 107.38 to 201.29μg/L and 489.27 to 645.26μg/L, respectively. Chromium was the most abundant in the water of Balughat during pre-monsoon, whereas, Cd was the most scarce in the water of Shawaryghat during monsoon. The sediment also showed spatial and temporal variation of Pb, Cd, Ni, Cu and Cr ranged from 64.71 to 77.13 mg/kg, 2.36 to 4.25 mg/kg, 147.06 to 258.17 mg/kg, 21.75 to 32.54 mg/kg and 118.63 to 218.39 mg/kg, respectively. Among all the metals studied in sediment, Ni was the highest at Foridabad during pre-monsoon and Cd was the lowest at Shawaryghat during monsoon. In six species of fish studied, the concentration of Pb, Cd, Ni, Cu and Cr varied seasonally from 8.03 to 13.52 mg/kg, 0.73 to 1.25 mg/kg, 8.25 to 11.21 mg/kg, 3.36 to 6.34 mg/kg and 5.27 to 7.38 mg/kg, respectively. Of the five metals studied Pb concentration was the highest in Gudusia chapra during monsoon, in contrast, Cd concentration was the lowest in Cirrhinus reba during post-monsoon. Some of the heavy metals’ concentrations are higher than the recommended value, which suggest that the Buriganga is to a certain extent a heavy metal polluted river and the water, sediment and fish are not completely safe for health.