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