Determination Of Some Trace Elements In Raw Periwinkle Tympanotonus Fuscatus

Project and Seminar Material for Science Laboratory Technology SLT

Determination Of Some Trace Elements In Raw Periwinkle Tympanotonus Fuscatus

Chapter One


Trace elements are natural components of the earth’s crust; they are stable and persistent contaminants of coastal waters and sediments. They are serious pollutants due to their facility persistence and bioaccumulation problem Pekey, (2006). They exhibit toxicity by forming complexes with organic compounds and active sites of enzymes. The impact of anthropogenic activities is most strongly felt by the estuarine and coastal environment adjacent to urban areas Nouri, Kabassi, and Mirka, (2008).

Tympanotonus fuscatus is among the popular sea foods consumed by people living in the coastal area of Nigeria, apart from being a major delicacy; they equally serve as a source of economic empowerment for the people in the area. Although periwinkles are marine dwellers they immigrate into the brackish water systems during their post larval stages, grow fast attain maturity in waters and lagoons. Their exposure to both marine and estuarine environment has all effects on the body burden of metal bioavailability from the natural as well as anthropogenic set up of the environment (Mohapatra et al, 2009). The interest on trace elements from the marine mollucs arose from three area of concern; nutritional, environmental and toxicological. Trace elements such as Mg, Na, Ca, Fe, Zn, Co, K are necessary for the maintenance of human body and health. Trace elements like Cd, Pb, As, Hg, V could pose toxicological effect on human. Their tissue sample can be used as bio-indicator to assess bioavailability of contaminant concentration in coastal water studies.

The sources of toxic metals in the environment are fossil fuels, mining industries, waste disposal and municipal sewage. Farming and forestry also contribute to the metal content of the environment due to the use of fertilizers, pesticides, herbicides and as a consequence of environmental pollution the contaminants may enter the food chain, since humans ingest food for survival, the major route of entry for most metals into the body is through diet. Thus it is essential to know the toxic metal content in food stuff human consume every day (Chowdhury et al, 2011).

However information on the studies of accumulation of trace metals by periwinkle Tympanotonus fuscatus in the Niger delta is scarce though being the region the highest number of industries, oil installations refineries, and the resultant pollution of the aquatic environment. Few studies conducted in Niger delta region revealed that the surface waters and aquatic organisms have heavy burden of trace metals, sometimes reaching levels that constitutes health hazard to consumers Edema and Egborge, (1992); Agada, (1994); Ovuru and Alfred-ockiya, (2001).This implies that seafood is a significant path way to trace element exposure for people consuming them, and this study is aimed at assessing the trace element concentration in periwinkle flesh obtained from ifiayong creek.

1.1 Background of Study

Tympanotonus fuscatus var-radula is found in the intertidal zone at low water mark in several parts of the world. Tympanotonus fuscatus var-radula crawls about under water but usually remain passive when left uncovered by the tides, considerable amount of Tympanotonus fuscatus are obtained daily for food and they have been found to be rich in protein and carbohydrate (Egonwan, 1980) estimated the crude protein of Tympanotonus sp to be 21.04, the muscle tissue contains high concentration of free arginine, aspartic acid and glutamic acid (Watt and Meril, 1950; Jay, 1978). They are invertebrates belonging to the phylum Mollusca and class gastropoda; Tympanotonus sp are valuable commercially, their collection and marketing forms and important industry in Niger delta.

Thus, it is necessary to determine the levels of some heavy metals in these organisms (Okoye, 1991; Paez-osuna and Ruizx, 1995).

1.2 Aims and Objective of the Study

The purpose of this study is to determine the concentration of the following trace elements Iron (Fe), Cadmium (Cd), Zinc (Zn), Lead (Pb), Cobalt (Co) and Copper (Cu), in raw periwinkle tissue obtained from Ifiayong Creek, Uruan Local Government Area of Akwa Ibom State.

1.3 Scope and Limitation of Study

The study is limited to the following elements Zn, Pb, Co, Cu, Fe, and Cd obtained from Ifiayong Creek in Akwa Ibom State. However, the sexes as well as the ages of the sample could not be ascertained.

1.4 Definition of Terms


These are shell fishes found in the littoral regions of the sea, which are seasonally submerged regions like the mangrove swamps.

Trace Elements:

These are metals that occur at very low levels in the environment they include elements such as selenium, zinc, chromium, cobalt, copper, nickel iron etc.


This refers to changes in nature that are caused by humans.

Chapter Five

5.0 Summary, Conclusion and Recommendations

5.1 Summary

Nowadays, the threat of pollution is a growing concern as it is increasing astronomically, and thus poses health issues to human via the choice of diet they consume, especially the Aquatic Organisms, which is a major source of protein. Thus, this studies analyses the trace elements concentration of periwinkle, its nutritional importance and compares the results with standards to ascertain if the shell fish (periwinkle) obtained from Ifiayong Creek is fit for consumption.

5.2 Conclusion

The study reveals that periwinkle is nutritionally rich and serve as a dependable though underexplored source of protein. The trace elements that this study has analysed provide information about the concentration of metals (Fe, Zn, Cd, Pb, Cu and Co) remaining within their permissible safe levels for human consumption as laid down by commission of European Communities, (2001); FAO/WHO, (1999); FAO/WHO, (1984) and FAO/WHO, (1994).

The low heavy metal concentrations, especially Pb can be attributed to the absence of industrial discharge into the creek and thus periwinkle from this source is fit for human consumption.

5.3 Recommendations

The results obtained from this study is below permissible concentration capable of causing toxic effects in thus human system, thus periwinkle from this source is suitable for consumption. Also, considering the enormous commercial, nutritional and industrial importance of periwinkle, I therefore encourage the populace to embrace consumption of periwinkle as the source of protein in order to reduce the pressure placed on existing conventional sources (poultry, beef, pork) which makes it very expensive.

Public awareness should be created to local dwellers near creeks and water bodies on the effective means of waste disposal, and penalties should be strictly administered to all erring industries that discharges industrial effluent into water bodies, to ensure that periwinkles and other aquatic organisms do not bio accumulate heavy metal that may induce food poisoning to man when consumed.

I also recommend that, further investigation be carried out on the biological tissue for other parameters than heavy metals to ascertain how safe periwinkle is for nutrition. Such parameters include microbial content and elemental constitution.

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