Preliminary study on the distribution of metals and persistent organic pollutants (POPs), including perfluoroalkylated acids (PFAS), in the aquatic environment near Morogoro, Tanzania, and the potential health risks for humans.
By Thimo Groffen, Jet Rijnders, Loïc van Doorn, Cas Jorissen, Seppe Mortier De Borger, Dorien Oude Luttikhuis, Lara de Deyn, Adrian Covaci, and Lieven Bervoets
October 20, 2020
Metals and persistent organic pollutants (POPs), including perfluoroalkylated acids (PFAS), are chemicals with a bioaccumulative potential that are detected in wildlife around the world. Although multiple studies reported the pollution of the aquatic environment with these chemicals, only limited data is present on the environmental pollution of Tanzania's aquatic environment and the possible risks for human health through consumption of contaminated fish or invertebrates. In the present study, we examined the distribution of metals and POPs in fish, invertebrates, sediment and water, collected at two different years at multiple important water reservoirs for domestic and industrial purposes, in the aquatic environment near Morogoro, Tanzania. Furthermore, we assessed the possible risks for human health through consumption of contaminated fish and shrimp. Metal concentrations in the water, sediment, invertebrates and fish appeared to increase in sites downstream from Morogoro city, likely caused by the presence of the city as pollution source. Significant differences in accumulated concentrations of metals and POPs were observed between species, which was hypothesized to be caused by dietary differences. Concentrations of multiple metals exceeded water and sediment quality guidelines values. Only Cu (2.8-17 μg/L) and Zn (