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Contamination of heavy metal in aquatic ecosystems has the potential to cause toxicity and accumulating in aquatic ecosystem. Human consumption of heavy-metal contaminated water or aquatic animals can have a direct effect on aquatic animals and indirect effects on human health. Therefore, this study evaluated the accumulation of heavy metals in water and Nile tilapia and conducted a health risk assessment from dermal exposure and consumption of the water and Nile tilapia in the Huai Luang River Basin, Thailand. The results found that trace amounts of zinc (Zn), chromium (Cr), copper (Cu), cadmium (Cd) and lead (Pb) in the water samples had an average of 0.56 ± 0.34, 0.04 ± 0.03, 0.11 ± 0.05l, 0.08 ± 0.05 and 0.42 ± 0.66 mg/L, respectively. The average bioaccumulation of Zn, Cr, Cu, Cd and Pb in Nile tilapia were 26.81 ± 14.71, 0.88 ± 060, 4.38 ± 1.97, 1.29 ± 1.56 and 3.45 ± 3.45 mg/kg, respectively. The bioconcentration factors of the heavy metals in Nile tilapia, ordered from highest to lowest values, were Zn, Cu, Cr, Cd and Pb, respectively. However, the results of the human health risk assessment showed that the exposure to contaminated water with heavy metals would not be harmful. Nonetheless, the target hazard quotient for Cd and Pb and the hazard index from water and Nile tilapia consumption were higher than 1.0. These values indicated that consumption of water and Nile tilapia from Huai Luang River Basin could have risks to health effects from non-cancerous substances. These results are important information for the prevention and monitoring of water quality, including the safety of human health from water utilisation from this resource.
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