Toxic Metals (Hg, Cd, and Pb) in Fishery Products Imported into Italy: Suitability for Human Consumption

Authors: Storelli, Maria M.1; Normanno, Giovanni2; Barone, Grazia3; Dambrosio, Angela2; Errico, Luigi4; Garofalo, Rita3; Giacominelli-Stuffler, Roberto5

Source: Journal of Food Protection®, Number 1, January 2012, pp. 4-206 , pp. 189-194(6)

Publisher: International Association for Food Protection

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Mercury, cadmium, and lead concentrations were determined in various fishery products (fishes, cephalopod molluscs, and crustaceans) imported into Italy from many European and non-European coastal countries. Considerable differences were found in the concentrations of these metals among the products tested. The highest mean Hg concentration was found in fishes (0.21 μg g–1 wet weight), whereas cephalopods had the highest mean Cd concentration (0.35 μg g–1 wet weight). Swordfish (0.80 μg g–1 wet weight), longtail tuna (0.53 μg g–1 wet weight), and thornback ray (0.52 μg g–1 wet weight) had the highest concentrations of Hg, whereas maximum Cd concentrations were found in samples of common cuttlefish (0.85 μg g–1 wet weight) and common octopus (0.64 μg g–1 wet weight). The majority of the samples analyzed were in compliance with European Union legislation, except for a few cases. The calculated mean weekly intakes of Hg, Cd, and Pb through consumption of the fishery products tested were all below the legislated respective provisional tolerable weekly intakes. In general, the samples analyzed were considered safe to eat with regard to the metal concentrations found and the allowable intakes based on legislation. Nevertheless, the consumption of some species may be of significant importance for consumer health.

Document Type: Research Article


Affiliations: 1: Department of Pharmacology and Biology, Chemistry and Biochemistry Section, University of Bari ‘‘Aldo Moro,’’ Strada Prov. le per Casamassima Km 3, 70010 Valenzano, Bari, Italy. 2: Department of Animal Health and Welfare, Veterinary Medicine Faculty, University of Bari “Aldo Moro,” Strada Prov. le per Casamassima Km 3, 70010 Valenzano, Bari, Italy 3: Department of Pharmacology and Biology, Chemistry and Biochemistry Section, University of Bari ‘‘Aldo Moro,’’ Strada Prov. le per Casamassima Km 3, 70010 Valenzano, Bari, Italy 4: Lepore Mare srl, Via dell'Agricoltura 22/24, 72015 Fasano, Brindisi, Italy 5: Department of Comparative Biomedical Sciences, Biochemistry and Molecular Biology Section, Veterinary Medicine Faculty, University of Teramo, Piazza A. Moro 45, 64100 Teramo, Italy

Publication date: January 1, 2012

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