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Heavy Metal Distribution in Tissues of Six Fish Species Included in Human Diet, Inhabiting Freshwaters of the Nature Park “Hutovo Blato” (Bosnia and Herzegovina)

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The aim of the study was to quantify heavy metal (mercury, lead, cadmium, and arsenic) concentration in tissues (muscles, liver, kidney, gills, and gonads) of six fish species (carp: Cyprinus carpio, tench: Tinca tinca, pumpkinseed: Lepomis gibosus, prussian carp: Carassius auratus gibelio, hasselquist: Salmo dentex, eel: Anguilla anguilla) from the freshwaters of the Nature Park Hutovo Blato, Bosnia and Herzegovina, and determine whether they are potentially harmful for human health if included in the diet. Fish were angled from the Svitava Lake in the second part of August of the year 2003, and fish tissues were stored at −18°C until analysis. Heavy metal concentration was determined by atomic absorption spectrophotometry in the Veterinary Institute Brno, Czech Republic, and expressed as mg·kg−1 of wet tissue. Concentration of mercury, lead, and arsenic in most tissues of all analyzed fish types is lower than the maximal allowed concentration (MAC) in most countries. Cadmium concentration is also low in muscles and gonads, but kidney, liver, and gill concentrations exceed MAC value in most countries. Hasselquist, an endemic type for that region, differs from other fish types in the fact that it has very low cadmium concentration in liver and kidney, but the highest concentration of arsenic in most tissues, especially muscles. In muscles and gonads of all fish types analyzed, Pb is present in higher concentration than Cd, whereas in liver, gills, and particularly kidney, the situation is opposite, suggesting diverse metabolic pathways and unequal bioaccumulation of these two metals in different fish tissues. Although the region of the Nature Park Hutovo Blato in Bosnia and Herzegovina is not an agricultural territory, the intensive agricultural activities in the neighboring regions already result in high cadmium concentration in inner organs of fish species analyzed. Therefore, fish types in the freshwaters of the Park may be included in the human diet, but without inner organs and gills (or the whole head).

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Correspondence to Elizabeta Has-Schön.

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Has-Schön, E., Bogut, I., Rajković, V. et al. Heavy Metal Distribution in Tissues of Six Fish Species Included in Human Diet, Inhabiting Freshwaters of the Nature Park “Hutovo Blato” (Bosnia and Herzegovina). Arch Environ Contam Toxicol 54, 75–83 (2008).

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