In the present study, the Hg contamination in mariculture sites located at the estuary of Pearl River was to investigate with an attempt to analyse associated health risks of dietary exposure to both total mercury (THg) and methyl mercury (MeHg) in cultured fish and shellfish. The highest total mercury concentration (7.037 ± 0.556 ng L⁻¹) of seawater was observed at Zhuhai Estuary. The Hg concentrations of sediment in Guishan Island were significantly higher (p < 0.05) than in Daya Bay (away from the Pearl River). Besides, the both THg and MeHg levels in sediment at mariculture sites were higher (p < 0.05) than corresponding reference sites. It was attributed to the fact that mariculture activities increased Hg loading and promoted MeHg production. The vertical distribution of Hg in sediment cores demonstrated that mercury methylation mostly occurred at the sediment-water interface. Results of health risk assessments showed that fish consumption would impose a higher risk to children but less to adults, while shellfish produced in the studied area was safe for consumption. Copyright © 2016 Elsevier Ltd.
CitationTao, H. C., Zhao, K. Y., Ding, W. Y., Li, J. B., Liang, P., Wu, S. C., et al. (2016). The level of mercury contamination in mariculture sites at the estuary of Pearl River and the potential health risk. Environmental Pollution, 219, 829-836.
- Total mercury
- Methyl mercury
- Health risks assessment