Evaluation of health risks from exposure to arsenic and heavy metals through consumption of ten fish species

  • Memet VarolEmail author
  • Gülderen Kurt Kaya
  • Muhammet Raşit Sünbül
Research Article


In this study, the levels of 11 heavy metal(loid)s (HMs) were determined in ten different fish species (wild, farmed, freshwater, and marine) frequently consumed in Turkey and compared with the maximum permissible limits (MPLs) established by international standards. Also, human health risks for the consumers were assessed. Among 11 HMs, only Al and Cr levels did not show significant differences among fish species. The highest concentrations of As were found in red mullet, which is a demersal fish. The average concentrations of Cd, Cr, Cu, and Pb in all fish species were below the MPLs, whereas those of Zn in European anchovy and Mediterranean horse mackerel, and that of inorganic As in red mullet exceeded the MPLs. The highest and lowest toxic metal contents (Al, As, Cd, and Pb) were recorded in red mullet and farmed rainbow trout, respectively. The estimated daily intakes of HMs in each fish species were very lower than their corresponding tolerable daily intakes, suggesting the daily intake of HMs through fish consumption would not pose health risks for the consumers. The target hazard quotient for individual HMs and hazard index for combined HMs in fish species were below 1, which indicated that non-carcinogenic health effects are not expected. The carcinogenic risk results revealed that there was a carcinogenic risk from exposure to inorganic As via the consumption of red mullet. Among all investigated fish species, rainbow trout and common carp were safer in terms of both non-carcinogenic and carcinogenic risks from exposure to HMs.


Metal(loid)s Fish species Risk assessment Fish consumption 



Special thanks are given to the editor Professor Philippe Garrigues and anonymous reviewers for their constructive comments and suggestions for improving this manuscript.

Funding information

The research was funded by the Munzur University Scientific Projects Coordination Department (YLTUB018-05).

Supplementary material

11356_2019_6450_MOESM1_ESM.docx (38 kb)
ESM 1 (DOCX 38 kb)


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag GmbH Germany, part of Springer Nature 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Faculty of FisheriesMalatya Turgut Özal UniversityMalatyaTurkey
  2. 2.Faculty of FisheriesMunzur UniversityTunceliTurkey
  3. 3.East Mediterranean Transitional Zone Agricultural Research of InstituteKahramanmaraşTurkey

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