Document Detail

Risk to consumers from mercury in bluefish (Pomatomus saltatrix) from New Jersey: Size, season and geographical effects.
MedLine Citation:
PMID:  19643400     Owner:  NLM     Status:  MEDLINE    
Relatively little attention has been devoted to the risks from mercury in saltwater fish, that were caught by recreational fisherfolk. Although the US Food and Drug Administration has issued advisories based on mercury for four saltwater species or groups of fish, there are few data on how mercury levels vary by size, season, or location. This paper examines total mercury levels in muscle of bluefish (Pomatomus saltatrix) collected from coastal New Jersey, mainly by recreational fishermen. Of primary interest was whether there were differences in mercury levels as a function of location, weight and length of the fish, and season, and in what risk mercury posed to the food chain, including people. Selenium was also measured because of its reported protective effects against mercury. Mercury levels averaged 0.35+/-0.02 (mean and standard error)ppm, and selenium levels averaged 0.37+/-0.01ppm (N=206). In this study, 41% of the fish had mercury levels above 0.3ppm, 20% had levels above 0.5ppm, and 4% had levels above 1ppm. Size was highly correlated with mercury levels, but not with selenium. While selenium levels did not vary at all with season, mercury levels decreased significantly. This relationship was not due to differences in the size of fish, since the fish collected in the summer were the smallest, but had intermediate mercury levels. Mercury levels declined from early June until November, particularly for the smaller-sized fish. While there were significant locational differences in mercury levels (but not selenium), these differences could be a result of size. The levels of mercury in bluefish are not sufficiently high to cause problems for the bluefish themselves, based on known adverse health effects levels, but are high enough to cause potential adverse health effects in sensitive birds and mammals that eat them, and to provide a potential health risk to humans who consume them. Fish larger than 50cm fork length averaged levels above 0.3ppm, suggesting that eating them should be avoided by pregnant women, children, and others who are at risk.
Joanna Burger
Publication Detail:
Type:  Journal Article; Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural; Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't; Research Support, U.S. Gov't, Non-P.H.S.     Date:  2009-07-29
Journal Detail:
Title:  Environmental research     Volume:  109     ISSN:  1096-0953     ISO Abbreviation:  Environ. Res.     Publication Date:  2009 Oct 
Date Detail:
Created Date:  2009-09-14     Completed Date:  2009-10-01     Revised Date:  2014-06-03    
Medline Journal Info:
Nlm Unique ID:  0147621     Medline TA:  Environ Res     Country:  United States    
Other Details:
Languages:  eng     Pagination:  803-11     Citation Subset:  IM    
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MeSH Terms
Body Size
Environmental Monitoring / methods
Food Contamination
Mercury / analysis*
Muscle, Skeletal / chemistry*
New Jersey
Regression Analysis
Seafood / analysis*
Selenium / analysis
Grant Support
Reg. No./Substance:
FXS1BY2PGL/Mercury; H6241UJ22B/Selenium

From MEDLINE®/PubMed®, a database of the U.S. National Library of Medicine

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