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Chemosphere. 2016 Dec;165:369-380. doi: 10.1016/j.chemosphere.2016.09.048. Epub 2016 Sep 30.

The distribution, contamination and risk assessment of heavy metals in sediment and shellfish from the Red Sea coast, Egypt.

Author information

1
Environmental Division, National Institute of Oceanography and Fisheries, Kayet Bey, El-Anfoushy, Alexandria, Egypt. Electronic address: ahmedmoustafaelnemr@yahoo.com.
2
Environmental Division, National Institute of Oceanography and Fisheries, Kayet Bey, El-Anfoushy, Alexandria, Egypt.

Abstract

Zn, Cu, Ni, V, Al, Pb, Cd, Hg, lipid and water contents were determined in the soft tissues of different shellfish species collected along the Red Sea shoreline. Metal contents showed a descending order of Zn > Cu > Ni > Al > V > Pb > Cd > Hg. The leachable concentrations found in the sediments gathered from the studied locations gave another descending order: Al > Zn > Ni > Pb > V > Cu > Cd. The determined leachable heavy metal contents in the sediment did not exceed the NOAA and CCME (Anonymous 1999) sediment quality guidelines. Accordingly, the sediments along the Egyptian Red Sea area did not pose any adverse impacts on the biological life. According to the hazard quotient (HQ) calculations for heavy metal contents in the soft tissue of shellfish, mercury did not pose any risk on human health; whereas, the other determined heavy metals gave HQ values of 1 < HQ < 10 and showed a possibility of risk on the long term. Cu is above the desirable levels in mussels. The RQ calculations of toddlers and adults reflected that Cu was the only heavy metal that had an adverse effect on toddlers' health. Based on the human organizations (EPA, BOE, MAFF, and NHMRC) that proposed safety concentrations of heavy metals, the studied shellfish were somewhat safe for human consumption.

KEYWORDS:

Bioaccumulation factor; Heavy metals; Human health risk; Red sea; Sediments; Shellfish

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