Environmental Science and Pollution Research

, Volume 25, Issue 30, pp 30224–30235 | Cite as

Toxic metals in Perna viridis mussel and surface seawater in Pasir Gudang coastal area, Malaysia, and its health implications

  • Naji Arafat MahatEmail author
  • Nor Kamilah Muktar
  • Razali Ismail
  • Fazira Ilyana Abdul Razak
  • Roswanira Abdul Wahab
  • Aemi Syazwani Abdul KeyonEmail author
Research Article


Contamination of toxic metals in P. viridis mussels has been prevalently reported; hence, health risk assessment for consuming this aquaculture product as well as the surrounding surface seawater at its harvesting sites appears relevant. Since Kampung Pasir Puteh, Pasir Gudang is the major harvesting site in Malaysia, and because the last heavy metal assessment was done in 2009, its current status remains unclear. Herein, flame atomic absorption spectrometry and flow injection mercury/hydride system were used to determine the concentrations of Pb, Cd, Cu and total Hg in P. viridis mussels and surface seawater (January–March 2015), respectively. Significantly higher concentrations of these metals were found in P. viridis mussels (p < 0.05) than that of surface seawater samples. The concentrations for Pb (4.27–6.55 μg/g) and Cd (1.55–2.21 μg/g) in P. viridis mussels exceeded the maximum permitted proportion prescribed by the Malaysian law. The concentrations of all metals in surface seawater also violated the Malaysia Marine Water Quality Criteria and Standards. Significant (p < 0.05) and high strength of association (r = 0.787) observed between Pb concentration in P. viridis mussel with the surface seawater indicates its possible application for inferring Pb concentrations in the mussel. Since both the calculated target hazard quotient and hazard index for Pb and Cd exceeded 1, the possible detrimental health impacts on human for consuming P. viridis mussels from this rearing site cannot be ignored. Hence, promoting continuous monitoring programmes and developing efficient toxic metal removal techniques prior to entering the market are required.


P. viridis mussel Toxic metals Risk assessment Surface seawater Flame atomic absorption spectrometry Flow injection mercury/hydride system 



Clerical assistance provided by Miss Aida Rasyidah Azman is appreciated.

Funding information

Universiti Teknologi Malaysia for provided research grants (Q.J130000.2526.12H51 and Q.J130000.2526.16H14).

Compliance with ethical standards

Conflict of interest

The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag GmbH Germany, part of Springer Nature 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  • Naji Arafat Mahat
    • 1
    Email author
  • Nor Kamilah Muktar
    • 1
  • Razali Ismail
    • 1
  • Fazira Ilyana Abdul Razak
    • 1
  • Roswanira Abdul Wahab
    • 1
  • Aemi Syazwani Abdul Keyon
    • 1
    Email author
  1. 1.Department of Chemistry, Faculty of ScienceUniversiti Teknologi MalaysiaJohor BahruMalaysia

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