Mercury in seafood: A preliminary risk assessment for Kuwaiti consumers

Hosny Khordagui, Dhari Al-Ajmi

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Abstract

Fish is a significant source of high quality protein in Kuwait, whose population was believed to be at relatively high risk from hazards associated with the ingestion of mercury. In an effort to determine if a health hazard exists among fish consumers in Kuwait, fish consumption and mercury residues in fish from Kuwait are evaluated in this study. The concentration levels in edible portions of Kuwaiti fish ranged from not detected to a record maximum of 1.57 mg/kg. The most unfortunate group of consumers preferring to eat the highest polluted fish will be exposed to a total intake of 8.1 μg Hg/d. To assess the risk of mercury to Kuwaiti fish consumers, a safety factor of 10 was incorporated in the minimum level currently known to be associated with adverse effects (300 μg/d·person). Kuwait fish consumption data do not indicate any cause for concern from methylmercury poisoning for the average Kuwaiti consumer. At the current, relatively low fish consumption rate the acceptable daily intake has never been exceeded even at the worst, extreme consumption scenarios. All of the fish and shrimp consumers in Kuwait could easily double their current intake and still remain below the mercury acceptable daily intake of 30 μg Hg/d·person.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)429-435
Number of pages7
JournalEnvironment International
Volume17
Issue number5
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 1991

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ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Environmental Science(all)
  • Environmental Chemistry

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