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10.1007_s10661-023-11194-w.pdf (1.28 MB)

Health risk assessment of methyl mercury from fish consumption in a sample of adult Qatari residents

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submitted on 2023-12-31, 08:22 and posted on 2023-12-31, 08:48 authored by Maetha M. Al-Sulaiti, Mohammad A. Al-Ghouti, Gouda A. Ramadan, Lama Soubra

Fish constitutes an essential source of high-quality protein and is, at the same time, the source of exposure to many hazardous contaminants, namely mercury and methyl mercury (MeHg). This study aims at assessing the risk that MeHg poses to the health of adult Qatari residents through fish consumption. Data on fish consumption were collected using a self-administered online survey composed of three sections that collected information about the fish-eating patterns of the participants. The fish species that were reported to be consumed by ≥ 3% of the respondents were sampled and analyzed for their total mercury (T-Hg) content levels. MeHg concentrations were derived from T-Hg content levels using a scenario-based approach. Disaggregated fish consumption and contamination data were combined using the deterministic approach to estimate MeHg intakes. The average, 75th, and 95th percentiles of the MeHg intake estimates were determined and compared to the tolerable weekly intake (TWI) set by the European Food Safety Agency (EFSA) (1.3 μg·kg−1·w−1). All fish samples contained T-Hg at levels ˂ 0.3–0.5 µg/g with a mean value of 0.077 µg/g. The study population had an average fish consumption of 736.0 g/week. The average estimated weekly intakes of MeHg exceeded TWI for some fish consumers including females of childbearing age and those following a high-protein diet. Our study highlights the need to establish regulatory guidelines and dietary advice based on risk/benefit ratio.

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Published in: Environmental Monitoring and Assessment
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  • English


Springer Nature

Publication Year

  • 2023

License statement

This Item is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.

Institution affiliated with

  • Qatar University
  • College of Arts and Sciences - QU
  • Ministry of Public Health - State of Qatar

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