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Chemosphere. 2016 Dec;165:1-9. doi: 10.1016/j.chemosphere.2016.08.121. Epub 2016 Sep 8.

Monitoring of metal pollution in waterways across Bangladesh and ecological and public health implications of pollution.

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School of Applied Sciences, RMIT University, Melbourne, Australia. Electronic address:
Institute of Marine Sciences & Fisheries, University of Chittagong, Bangladesh.
Department of Biology & Chemistry, City University of Hong Kong, Hong Kong.
Department of Science and Environmental Studies, Hong Kong Institute of Education, Tai Po, Hong Kong.


Using innovative artificial mussels technology for the first time, this study detected eight heavy metals (Cd, Cu, Fe, Mn, Ni, Pb, U, Zn) on a regular basis in waterways across Bangladesh (Chittagong, Dhaka and Khulna). Three heavy metals, viz. Co, Cr and Hg were always below the instrumental detection levels in all the sites during the study period. Through this study, seven metal pollution "hot spots" have been identified, of which, five "hot spots" (Cu, Fe, Mn, Ni, Pb) were located in the Buriganga River, close to the capital Dhaka. Based on this study, the Buriganga River can be classified as the most polluted waterway in Bangladesh compared to waterways monitored in Khulna and Chittagong. Direct effluents discharged from tanneries, textiles are, most likely, reasons for elevated concentrations of heavy metals in the Buriganga River. In other areas (Khulna), agriculture and fish farming effluents may have caused higher Cu, U and Zn in the Bhairab and Rupsa Rivers, whereas untreated industrial discharge and ship breaking activities can be linked to elevated Cd in the coastal sites (Chittagong). Metal pollution may cause significant impacts on water quality (irrigation, drinking), aquatic biodiversity (lethal and sub-lethal effects), food contamination/food security (bioaccumulation of metals in crops and seafood), human health (diseases) and livelihoods of people associated with wetlands.


Artificial mussels; Bangladesh; Buriganga River; Chittagong; Dhaka; Heavy metals; Khulna; Metal “hot spots”; Pollution implications

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