Occurrence of some heavy metals in shellfish: Dietary intakes and health risk assessment

Document Type : Original Article


Food Hygiene and Control, Dept, Fac. Of Vet. Med.,Benha.Univ.


Shellfish is considered as important source for high quality protein, polyunsaturated fatty acids, vitamins, and minerals. The present study aimed to study the incidence of four heavy metals including lead (Pb), cadmium (Cd), zinc (Zn), and copper (Cu) in four of the shellfish including shrimp, crab, oyster, and mussels. Moreover, the dietary intakes and the potential non-carcinogenic human health risks were calculated for Egyptian consumers. The obtained results revealed that shrimps had the lowest residual concentrations for both Pb, and Cd; whereas mussels had the highest Pb content, while oyster had the highest Cd content. The high content of heavy metals in the examined shellfish indicates the contamination of their living environment with heavy metals. The inter-species differences in their accumulation of heavy metals indicate their physiological differences their xenobiotic metabolizing enzymes. All examined shellfish had considerable concentrations of Cu, and Zn suggesting that these species can provide humans with part of their needs for these essential trace elements. Calculation of the potential non-carcinogenic risks for the tested metals associated with the consumption of shellfish indicated that the average consumption of these shellfish would not pose any risks for the Egyptian population.


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