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Health risk assessment of heavy metal intake due to fish consumption in the Sistan region, Iran

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The heavy metal (Pb, Cd, Cr, and Ni) content of a fish species consumed by the Sistan population and its associated health risk factors were investigated. The mean concentrations of Pb, Cd, and Cr were slightly higher than the standard levels. The Ni content of fish was below the maximum guideline proposed by the US Food and Drug Administration (USFDA). The average estimated weekly intake was significantly below the provisional tolerable intake based on the FAO and WHO standards for all studied metals. The target hazard quotients (THQ) of all metals were below 1, showing an absence of health hazard for the population of Sistan. The combined target hazard quotient for the considered metals was 26.94 × 10−3. The cancer risk factor for Pb (1.57 × 10−7) was below the acceptable lifetime carcinogenic risk (10−5). The results of this study reveal an almost safe level of Pb, Cd, Cr, and Ni contents in the fish consumed by the Sistan population.

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Correspondence to Mahmoud Taghavi.

Additional information


• There is only scarce data regarding heavy metal concentrations in fishes captured from lakes and their human health risks.

• The heavy metal (Pb, Cd, Cr, and Ni) content of Hypophthalmichthys molitrix consumed by the Sistan population and its associated health risk factors were investigated.

• The average of the estimated weekly intake was significantly below the provisional tolerable intake.

• There is no health hazard for the population of Sistan through the consumption of studied fish.

• The cancer risk factor for Pb was below the acceptable lifetime carcinogenic risk.

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Miri, M., Akbari, E., Amrane, A. et al. Health risk assessment of heavy metal intake due to fish consumption in the Sistan region, Iran. Environ Monit Assess 189, 583 (2017).

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  • Heavy metals
  • Fish consumption
  • Health risks
  • Cancer risk
  • Sistan and Baluchestan