Human Health Risks from Heavy Metals in Fish of a Fresh Water River in Iran

Document Type : Original Article


1 Social Determinants of Health Research Center, Yasuj University of Medical Sciences, Yasuj, Iran

2 Department of Food Hygiene and Public Health, School of Veterinary Medicine, Shiraz University, Shiraz, Iran

3 Students Research Committee, Yasuj University of Medical Sciences, Yasuj, Iran

4 Department of Food Hygiene and Quality Control, School of Nutrition and Food Sciences, Shiraz University of Medical Sciences, Shiraz, Iran


Background: Aquatic organisms as one of the most important source of human nutrition are widely exposed to heavy metals, which even at low concentrations causes harmful effects on human health. To assess the human health risks, estimating of nutritional exposure to metals through fish consumption and comparing these factors with the recommended values is of great importance.
Methods: Measurement of mercury, lead and cadmium in edible tissues of three wild fresh water fish species (Esox Lucius, Oncorhynchus mykiss and Cyprinus carpio) was carried out by using the atomic absorption method with the help of Perkin Elmer 4100. By the handling of the mean concentration of heavy metals, factors such as estimated daily intake (EDI), target hazard quotients (THQ) and the maximum amount of consumption (CRlim and CRmm) were evaluated.
Results: The level of EDI in the samples was far below the tolerable daily intake (TDI). Mercury showed the lowest levels of EDI and the lead had the highest level in all three fish species. The highest levels of THQ were found for lead (0.66) and the lowest for cadmium (0.014), which has not gone further of the hazard threshold of 1. Lead in all three species of fish showed the lowest and cadmium indicated the highest level of CRLim.
Conclusion: Mercury and cadmium concentration and human health risk through fresh water fish consumption was lower than the recommended and reference values, but the evaluation of these factors in relation to the lead has not show a quite favorable condition.