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Bioaccumulation of Heavy Metals in Oysters from the Southern Coast of Korea: Assessment of Potential Risk to Human Health

Abstract

From 2009 to 2013, 80 oyster and 16 seawater samples were collected from the southern coast of Korea, including designated shellfish growing areas for export. The concentrations and bioaccumulation of heavy metals were determined, and a potential risk assessment was conducted to evaluate their hazards towards human consumption. The cadmium (Cd) concentration in oysters was the highest of three hazardous metals, including Cd, lead (Pb), and mercury (Hg), however, below the standards set by various countries. The metal bioaccumulation ratio in oysters was relatively high for zinc and Cd but low for Hg, Pb, arsenic, and chromium. The estimated dietary intakes of all heavy metals for oysters accounted for 0.02 %–17.75 % of provisional tolerable daily intake. The hazard index for all samples was far <1.0, which indicates that the oysters do not pose an appreciable hazard to humans for the metal pollutants of study.

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Acknowledgments

This work was supported by a grant from the National Fisheries Research and Development Institute of Korea (RP-2015-FS-001).

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Correspondence to Jong Soo Mok.

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Mok, J.S., Yoo, H.D., Kim, P.H. et al. Bioaccumulation of Heavy Metals in Oysters from the Southern Coast of Korea: Assessment of Potential Risk to Human Health. Bull Environ Contam Toxicol 94, 749–755 (2015). https://doi.org/10.1007/s00128-015-1534-4

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Keywords

  • Heavy metal
  • Oyster
  • Bioaccumulation
  • Risk assessment
  • Korea