Comparison of the health risks associated with exposure to toxic metals and metalloids following consumption of freshwater catches in China

Main Article Content

Cuirong Luo
Junxiao Sun
Yunfei Tan
Lijing Xiong
Bo Peng
Guohui Peng
Xufeng Bai


Bighead carp (Hypophthalmichthys nobilis), Chinese mitten crab (Eriocheir sinensis), Red swamp crayfish (Procambarus clarkii), Health risk assessment, Toxic elements


Crayfish, carp, and crab threaten the consumer’s health due to the enrichment of the toxic elements. The concentration of the toxic elements (As, Cr, Cd, and Pb) in these aquatics was less investigated simultaneously in situ. In this study, the toxic elements in these aquatics from the same site of Hanchuan, Hubei Province, China were measured by ICP-MS to assess the enrichment of the four toxic elements in them and the health risk to the consumer. The results showed that the concentrations of these elements in muscle were lower than those in hepatopancreas/ liver, except for Cr in crayfish. Furthermore, the concentrations of Cd in the hepatopancreas of crayfish and crab exceeded the standards of China and the European Union. Accordingly, the hepatopancreas of crayfish and crab are not recommended for consumption. The estimated daily intake of these elements in the muscle of crayfish, carp, and crab did not exceed the provisional tolerable daily intakes, the corresponding target hazard quotient (THQ), and the cancer risk (CR) values for As were lower than 1 and 1 × 10–6, respectively. However, the accumulated consumption of the muscle of the three freshwater catches could result in a significant increase in the total THQ value. The total ingestion of the muscle of these catches should be limited. Collectively, these findings may renew interest in food safety and the health risk to humans owing to the consumption of freshwater catches.

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