Heavy metals found in Hyderabad's fish samples
Hyderabad: Pollution is taking its toll on not just nature but also the food we consume. Scientists from the National Institution of Nutrition, in a recently published study, reported heavy concentrations of heavy metals like Arsenic, Nickel, Cadmium and Lead in fish samples they had obtained from various outlets in Hyderabad and Secunderabad. The study was led by Dr J. Sreenivasa Rao of the Food Chemistry division of NIN.
A variety of commonly consumed fish varieties were checked for the study. The concentration of heavy metals depend on the fish species.
The highest level of arsenic was found in black pomfret (nalla chanduva) at 689.5micrograms per kg(µg/kg), nickel in silver pomfret (chandamama) at 680.1µg/kg, cadmium in black pomfret at 61.87µg/kg and lead in soleole (korramenu) at 108.2µg/kg. In tiger prawn the highest concentration was found of arsenic at 405.8µg/kg.
Presence of heavy metals in these fish is not just a Hyderabad specific issue but points towards a larger problem, of pollution in water bodies across the country.
Dr Shilpi Sharma, scientist at the Telangana State Biodiversity Board and also an expert in fish, said, “Fish sold in Hyderabad are not only from Telangana but also from Andhra Pradesh and West Bengal. If heavy metals are found in fish being sold in Hyderabad, there is a need to also know the concentrations of heavy metals in the water where the fish originate from and the sources of the heavy metals in the water for which various organizations need to work together.
“Water naturally contains a few heavy metals but their concentrations are very low and the extra amounts are because of pollution,” said Dr Sharma.