Human exposure to methylmercury from crayfish (Procambarus clarkii) in China

/ / Faculty Research in Asia, Research




REFERENCE: Peng Q, Greenfield BK, Dang F, Zhong H. Human exposure to methylmercury from crayfish (Procambarus clarkii) in China. Environ Geochem Health. 2016;38(1):169-81.

SUMMARY/ABSTRACT: Methylmercury (MeHg) accumulation in aquatic food raises global concerns about human exposure to MeHg. Crayfish is the world’s third largest farmed crustacean species and a favorite aquatic food in many countries. However, human health hazard due to MeHg exposure via crayfish consumption is unclear, partly because appropriate survey data are lacking. We report on mercury concentrations and speciation in edible tail muscle of crayfish collected from restaurants in 23 Chinese cities. On average, MeHg constituted 99.1 % of mercury in tail muscle, and MeHg concentrations were comparable with those reported for fish in China. Variation in MeHg concentrations was not attributable to broad geographic region (i.e., provinces) or tail length. For different populations, potential health risk (characterized by hazard quotient or HQ) of MeHg exposure through crayfish consumption depended largely on crayfish consumption rates. In particular, a health hazard (HQ > 1) was found for high-rate consumers (i.e., 95 %ile or higher) in some cities in the middle and lower reaches of the Yangtze River (MLYR), during the peak consumption season. Our results suggest that more attention should be paid to dietary MeHg intake via crayfish consumption in China, particularly for communities with high consumption in MLYR.

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