Health Risk Assessment of Heavy Metals in Manila Catfish (Arius dispar) from Laguna Lake

Victorio B. Molina

Department of Environmental and Occupational Health, College of Public Health,
University of the Philippines Manila

Objective. The main objective of this study is to provide an assessment of the risks to human health associated with the exposure to heavy metal bioaccumulation in Manila Catfish (Arius dispar) from Laguna Lake.

Methods. Manila Catfish (common name Kanduli) samples were collected in eight sampling stations in three major areas of the lake during the dry and wet seasons. Dry season samples were collected from May to June 2010 and wet season samples from September to November 2010. Coordinates of sampling locations were recorded using Global Positioning System to facilitate re-sampling activities and ensured that subsequent samples for the wet season were collected in the area as that of the wet season samples. Heavy metals analyses for cadmium, lead, arsenic, and chromium were conducted using Atomic Absorption Spectrophotometer and Mercury Analyser for mercury. Estimates of health risks associated with Kanduli consumption were estimated based on non-carcinogenic health effects of heavy metals.

Results. Non-carcinogenic Health Quotient (NHQ) values of the five heavy metals showed that lead is the most significant pollutant of concern in terms of adverse health effects from risks associated with Kanduli consumption from the lake.

Conclusion. From the point of view of disease prevention and control, long term consumption of Kanduli from Laguna Lake is expected to increase health risk due to lead contamination.

Key Words: bioaccumulation, Manila Catfish, lead, arsenic, cadmium, chromium, mercury, heavy metals, health risk assessment, Laguna Lake