Determination of heavy metals in fresh water fish species of the River Ravi, Pakistan compared to farmed fish varieties.
The untreated industrial and sewage wastes arising from industries and metropolitan activities make their passage to the River Ravi, Pakistan, where Balloki Headworks is one of the major sites of effluent concentration. This study was designed to evaluate the concentration of various toxic elements in fishes of that area compared to a nearby fish farm. The concentrations of heavy metals, such as As, Cd, Cu, Pb, Hg, and Zn, and electrolytes Ca, K, and Na were determined in different edible and non-edible fresh water fish varieties. Fish samples were collected from two selected sites and were analyzed for aforementioned elements. Higher levels of As (35.74-45.33 ppm), Cd (0.35-0.45 ppm), Pb (2.1-3.0 ppm), Hg (83.03-92.35 ppm) while normal levels of Zn (37.85-40.74 ppm) and Cu (1.39-2.93 ppm) were observed. Mercury, higher levels of which trigger cough, impairment of pulmonary function, and psychotic reactions, was significantly higher in all studied categories. At the sites under study, there has been observed alarming levels of toxic metals which are needed to be monitored regularly.