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Levels of Total Mercury in Marine Organisms from Adriatic Sea, Italy


The presence of total mercury in fish, crustacean and cephalopod from Adriatic Sea, was investigated. The highest concentrations were observed in decreasing order in: Norway lobster (0.97 ± 0.24 mg/kg; mean ± SE), European hake (0.59 ± 0.14 mg/kg), red mullet (0.48 ± 0.09 mg/kg), blue whiting (0.38 ± 0.09 mg/kg), Atlantic mackerel (0.36 ± 0.08 mg/kg) and European flying squid (0.25 ± 0.03 mg/kg). A significant difference (p < 0.01) was found between the levels of total mercury in Norway lobster and those detected in all other species. The 25% of all samples exceeded the maximum limit fixed by Commission Regulation (EC) No 1881/2006. The results show that fish and fishery products can exceed the maximum levels and stress the need of more information for consumers in particular for people that eat large amount of fish.

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This work has been supported by Ministry of University and Scientific and Technological Research (M.U.R.S.T.) grants (MPI 40% 2002).

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Correspondence to Pierina Visciano.

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Perugini, M., Visciano, P., Manera, M. et al. Levels of Total Mercury in Marine Organisms from Adriatic Sea, Italy. Bull Environ Contam Toxicol 83, 244–248 (2009).

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  • Total mercury
  • Fish
  • Cephalopod
  • Crustacean