Investigation of the possible sources of heavy metal contamination in lagoon and canal water in the tannery industrial area in Dhaka, Bangladesh

Mohammad Amir Hossain Bhuiyan, Nahid I. Suruvi, Samuel B. Dampare, M. A. Islam, Shamshad B. Quraishi, Samuel Ganyaglo, Shigeyuki Suzuki

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

167 Citations (Scopus)


This study evaluated the heavy metal pollution level of tannery effluent-affected lagoon and canal water in the southwestern Dhaka, Bangladesh. The measured physicochemical parameters (electrical conductivity, chemical oxygen demand, pH, SO42-, PO43-, Cl-, and NO3-) and metals (As, Ca, Cd, Co, Cr, Cu, Fe, K, Mn, Ni, Pb, and Zn) were subjected to principal component (PCA) and hierarchical cluster analyses, and examining correlation matrix as well in order to explain the behavior and sources of the parameters/metals. The mean concentrations of the heavy metals in the lagoon and canal water were very high and, in most cases, exceeded the standard limits recommended by the Bangladesh Government. The following elemental associations were obtained from PCA and CA: Ca-Cd-Cr-Fe-K-Mn-Pb-Zn, Co-Cu-Ni, and As, which could be linked to anthropogenic sources (i.e., processes of the tannery and paint industries with some contributions from the municipal waste system). Potassium, Ca, Cr, Mn, Fe, Zn, As, and Cd occurred as important anthropogenic markers in the lagoons and lower part of the canal. Copper, Co, and Ni were importantly distributed in the lower part of the canal, which also received metal inputs from the municipal waste and other industrial sources, including paint industry. GIS-based factor score maps, generated to show the spatial controls of the major processes affecting surface water hydrochemistry, suggest that the activities of paint and tannery industries and municipal sewage are pervasive processes in the area, whereas the contribution from pesticides (used for tanning and disinfecting hides) has localized effects. This study has provided the evidence that effluents discharged from the tannery and auxiliary industries and urban sewage system are the main sources of heavy metal pollution in the lagoon and canal water systems in the Hazaribagh area of southwestern Dhaka. The high mean concentrations (in mg/l) of Cr (5.27), Pb (0.81), As (0.59), and Cd (0.13) observed in the water samples may have serious public health and potential environmental hazard implications.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)633-649
Number of pages17
JournalEnvironmental Monitoring and Assessment
Issue number1-4
Publication statusPublished - Apr 2011


  • Cluster analysis
  • Heavy metal
  • Lagoon
  • Principal component analysis
  • Tannery effluent
  • Water quality

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Environmental Science(all)
  • Pollution
  • Management, Monitoring, Policy and Law


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