Health Risk Assessment for Local Residents from the South China Sea Based on Mercury Concentrations in Marine Fish

  • Shao-wei Chen
  • Zi-hui Chen
  • Ping Wang
  • Rui Huang
  • Wei-lun Huo
  • Wei-xiong Huang
  • Xing-fen Yang
  • Jie-wen PengEmail author


The offshore area of the South China Sea is an important fishing ground in China. We used a food frequency questionnaire to determine marine fish consumption by local residents, and we detected mercury concentrations in commonly consumed marine fish species. In total, 127.9 g/day of the marine fish consumed was identified in 178 local residents. THg and MeHg concentrations in 209 samples of 22 fish species ranged from 11.3 to 215.0 µg/kg wt and 2.0 to 160.0 µg/kg wt, respectively. The mean MeHg exposure from marine fish to local residents was 0.099 µg/kg bw, accounting for 43.0% of the provisional tolerated weekly intake (PTWI) (1.6 µg/kg bw/week), suggesting a low health risk. However, a potentially high health risk (202.2% of PTWI) was identified in those with 97.5% MeHg exposure.


Mercury pollution South China Sea Health risk assessment Marine fish 



We thank Gui-yuan Ji, Qi Jiang, Yan-jun Tang and Zhong-jun Dun from Guangdong Provincial Institute of Public Health, Guangdong Provincial Center for Disease Control and Prevention for excellent support during the field work. We thank Shu-guang Hu, Jing Wang and Zu-jian Su from Guangdong Provincial Center for Disease Control and Prevention for their supports in sample analysis.

Supplementary material

128_2018_2388_MOESM1_ESM.docx (18 kb)
Food frequency questionnaire—Supplementary material 1 (DOCX 18 KB)


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC, part of Springer Nature 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  • Shao-wei Chen
    • 1
  • Zi-hui Chen
    • 1
  • Ping Wang
    • 1
  • Rui Huang
    • 1
  • Wei-lun Huo
    • 1
  • Wei-xiong Huang
    • 2
  • Xing-fen Yang
    • 3
  • Jie-wen Peng
    • 1
    Email author
  1. 1.Department of Health Risk Assessment Research Center, Guangdong Provincial Institute of Public HealthGuangdong Provincial Center for Disease Control and PreventionGuangzhouChina
  2. 2.Guangdong Provincial Center for Disease Control and PreventionGuangzhouChina
  3. 3.Southern Medical UniversityGuangzhouChina

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