Assessing Toxic Elemental Concentrations in Marine Fish Trachurus capensis (Cape Horse Mackerel) and Implications for Public Health
Sanjeev Debipersadh, Ramganesh Selvarajan, Timothy Sibanda, Richard Naidoo
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Department of Environmental Sciences, UNISA Florida Campus, P.O Box 1710, Florida, South Africa
Submission date: 2017-03-23
Final revision date: 2017-07-11
Acceptance date: 2017-07-18
Online publication date: 2018-02-05
Publication date: 2018-03-12
Pol. J. Environ. Stud. 2018;27(3):1395–1400
While fish is considered a healthy component of the human diet, consumption of fish with high levels of trace metals in their flesh constitutes a public health risk as trace metals have been proven to be toxic. We investigated the concentrations of toxic elements in seawater and also in different body parts of the fish Trachurus capensis caught near Durban, South Africa, using inductively coupled plasma-atomic emission spectrometry (ICP-AES). The highest metal concentration in fish body parts was observed for Pb, followed by Zn. Significantly higher levels of Mn were observed in fish gills as compared to the tissue (muscle) and fish frame. With respect to bioaccumulation, significantly higher Pb levels were observed in fish tissues compared to As, Cr, and Mn. In the frame, significantly higher Pb levels were observed compared to all other metals except Ba. There were no significant differences in the concentrations of different metals in fish gills. Overall, the toxic metal concentrations in the muscle of cape horse mackerel were below levels of concern for human consumption as defined by the FAO and WHO.