Frontiers of Earth Science

, Volume 13, Issue 2, pp 361–370 | Cite as

Metal accumulation in Asiatic clam from the Lower Min River (China) and implications for human health

  • Yue Zeng
  • Zhongtao Li
  • Qianfeng WangEmail author
  • Changcheng Xu
  • Yunqin Li
  • Jia Tang
Research Article


Considering growing concerns regarding polluted estuaries and their adverse effects on public health, this study aimed to identify concentrations of metal (Zn, Fe, Cr, Ni, Cd, Mn, As, Cu, and Pb) in Asiatic clams sampled along the Lower Min River, China. Multivariate methods were used to identify and apportion pollution sources. Noncarcinogenic and carcinogenic health risk assessments were performed to gauge adverse consumer health effects. Results showed that Cr, Pb, and Zn concentrations were higher than the limits prescribed in Chinese government guidelines. In comparison with concentrations of selected metals in other rivers, Cr, Pb, Zn, and As concentrations in clams were generally higher. Pollution assessment using the metal pollution index showed that sampling sites surrounding developing industrial and residential areas were the most polluted. Principal component analysis indicated significant anthropogenic metal contributions in clams. Health risk assessment indicated significant risk for clam consumers along the Lower Min River in terms of hazard quotient and carcinogenic risk and, thus, clam consumption from the study area should be avoided. The present findings would help in establishing environmental monitoring plans and contribute to preserving public health as well as the development of water conservation strategies to alleviate the metal pollution.


metal accumulation Asiatic clam source identifications health risk Min River 


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The research was funded by the Natural Science Foundation of Fujian Province (Nos. 2018J01745 and 2013J01045), the China Scholarship Council (No. 201406655031), and the Science and Technology Development Foundation of Fuzhou University (No. 2013-XQ- 19). We would like to thank Dr. Xiaoxu Lin and Dr. Jinliang Huang for their comments and suggestions.


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Copyright information

© Higher Education Press and Springer-Verlag GmbH Germany, part of Springer Nature 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  • Yue Zeng
    • 1
    • 2
    • 3
  • Zhongtao Li
    • 1
  • Qianfeng Wang
    • 1
    • 2
    • 3
    Email author
  • Changcheng Xu
    • 1
    • 2
    • 3
  • Yunqin Li
    • 1
  • Jia Tang
    • 1
    • 2
    • 3
  1. 1.College of Environment and ResourcesFuzhou UniversityFuzhouChina
  2. 2.Key Laboratory of Spatial Data Mining & Information SharingMinistry of Education of ChinaFuzhouChina
  3. 3.Fujian Provincial Key Laboratory of Remote Sensing of Soil ErosionFuzhou UniversityFuzhouChina

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