Hair mercury and risk assessment for consumption of contaminated seafood in residents from the coast of the Persian Gulf, Iran
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The health risks of mercury exposure due to the high consumption of aquatic were assessed for fishermen and non-fishermen families living on the Bandar Abbas, Bushehr, and Mahshahr cities located in the coast of Persian Gulf (Iran). The mean hair mercury concentration of people in Bandar Abbas, Bushehr, and Mahshahr cities was obtained 1.56 ± 0.17, 1.97 ± 0.22, and 5.12 ± 0.3 μg g−1, respectively. Hair mercury concentration in 8.8% of people exceeded the no observed adverse effects level (NOAEL) of 10 μg g−1 declared by the World Health Organization (WHO). The fish and shrimps consumption, place of living, and fisher and non-fisherman family were variables that significantly effected on mercury levels in the hair. The effect of other factors (age, sex, and number of dental amalgam fillings) on hair mercury was not significant. The mean concentrations of mercury in three fish species in Mahshahr exceeded the recommended maximum standard level (0.5 μg g−1) set by the Joint Food and Agriculture Organization/World Health Organization Expert Committee on Food Additives (JECFA). The estimated weekly intake (EWI) for mercury in some fish species in Bandar Abbas, Bushehr, and Mahshahr was higher than the provisional tolerable weekly intake (1.6 μg kg−1 bw) set by European Food Safety Authority (EFSA) for some groups. The significant positive correlation between daily mercury intake and hair mercury concentration of people (r = 0.64, P < 0.001) reasserts that the hair mercury concentration could be explained by fish consumption. HQ > 1 was obtained for women in child bearing age in fishermen families in Bandar Abbas and Bushehr cities, children in fishermen families in Bushehr, and for all groups of population except adult in non-fishermen families in Mahshahr. So, the limited consumption of some fish species for these groups of people is recommended. The maximum of allowable fish consumption rate was 0.70 meals/month for Pseudorhombus arsius from Mahshahr fish for women of child bearing age. Also, it is necessary to create and monitor and enforce environmental standards, preventing the entry of pollutants released into the marine aquatic environment without proper early treatment.
KeywordsHuman health Risk assessment Mercury Fishermen Fish consumption Persian Gulf
We thank the general directorate of fisheries Hormozgan and Bushehr provinces for help us in sampling collection process. We also appreciate the directorate of fisheries in Mahshahr for official cooperation.
This work was funded by Tarbiat Modares University (TMU).
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