Risk to humans of consuming metals in anchovy (Coilia sp.) from the Yangtze River Delta

  • Fengyan Liu
  • Jiachun Ge
  • Xin Hu
  • Teng Fei
  • Yuehua Li
  • Yuan Jiang
  • Zhiqiang Xu
  • Shuyan Ding
  • John P. Giesy
  • Jianlin Pan
Original Paper


Concentrations of metals were determined in four species of anchovy (Coilia sp.) from the Yangtze River, Taihu Lake, and Hongze Lake in Jiangsu Province, China. Concentrations of Cr in anchovy fish muscle ranged from 2.6 × 10−2 to 5.0 mg/kg ww, and Coilia nasus taihuensis in Jiaoshan, Taihu Lake contained the highest concentrations of Cr, which was almost 111-fold higher than the mean value at other locations. Concentrations of Pb ranged from 1.5 × 10−2 to 1.3 × 10−1 mg/kg ww. Comparisons of concentrations of lead (Pb) among the four species indicated that anadromous species contained higher concentrations of Pb than did freshwater species. However, concentrations of Pb in C. nasus from the Nanjing and Haimen locations in the Yangtze River were not significant higher than those of two freshwater species: C. nasus taihuensis from Taihu Lake and C. brachygnathus from Hongze Lake (Duncan’s test, α = 0.05). While concentrations of Cd and Zn ranged from 7.0 × 10−4 to 3.6 × 10−3 mg/kg ww and 3.4 to 4.8 mg/kg ww, respectively, there were no significant differences in concentrations among the eight locations. The only concentration of the metals studied that exceeded the Chinese National Standard was Cr in Coilia from Jiaoshan, Taihu Lake, which was 2.5-fold higher than the standard. These results indicate that people who consume the genus Coilia are not at risk due to concentrations of metals, except Cr in C. nasus taihuensis from Jiaoshan in Taihu Lake. Concentrations of all of the metals studied except for Cr were similar to or less than those of metals in most other areas in the world.


Health risk assessment Metals Coilia Taihu Lake Yangtze River Delta 



This study was financially supported by Jiangsu Science and Technology Department (BM2006503), Jiangsu Ocean and Fishery Department (K2006-3), and Department of Personnel Jiangsu (07-G-028) China. The authors wish to thank Hao Chen, Tang Zhebing, Chao Ping, Zhang Shengyu, Gu Shuxing, Huang Ping, Li Bing, and Li Gonghai, who helped with sampling and conducting the residue analyses. Prof. Giesy was supported as an at large Chair Professorship from the Department of Biology and Chemistry and Research Centre for Coastal Pollution and Conservation, City University of Hong Kong and by an “Area of Excellence” Grant (AoE P-04/04) from the Hong Kong University Grants Committee. The research was supported by a Discovery Grant from the National Science and Engineering Research Council of Canada (Project #6807) support of an instrumentation grant from the Canada Foundation for Infrastructure.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media B.V. 2009

Authors and Affiliations

  • Fengyan Liu
    • 1
    • 2
  • Jiachun Ge
    • 1
    • 3
  • Xin Hu
    • 4
  • Teng Fei
    • 5
  • Yuehua Li
    • 1
    • 3
  • Yuan Jiang
    • 6
  • Zhiqiang Xu
    • 1
    • 3
  • Shuyan Ding
    • 1
    • 3
  • John P. Giesy
    • 7
    • 8
    • 9
    • 10
  • Jianlin Pan
    • 1
    • 3
  1. 1.Freshwater Fisheries Research Institute of Jiangsu ProvinceNanjingChina
  2. 2.College of Life ScienceWuhan UniversityWuhanChina
  3. 3.Jiangsu Engineering Research Center for Wild Aquatic Animals Introduction & HatchingNanjingChina
  4. 4.Center of Material AnalysisNanjing UniversityNanjingChina
  5. 5.School of Biological Science & Medical EngineeringSoutheast UniversityNanjingChina
  6. 6.Animal, Plant Quarantine and Food Inspection Center of Jiangsu Exit and Entry Inspection and Quarantine BureauNanjingChina
  7. 7.Department of Veterinary Biomedical Sciences and Toxicology CentreUniversity of SaskatchewanSaskatoonCanada
  8. 8.Zoology Department, Center for Integrative ToxicologyMichigan State UniversityEast LansingUSA
  9. 9.Centre for Coastal Pollution and Conservation, Department of Biology and ChemistryCity University of Hong KongKowloon, Hong Kong SARChina
  10. 10.Environmental Science ProgramNanjing UniversityNanjingChina

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