Assessment of health risks due to toxic metals in demersal fish captured from Saros and Edremit Bays, Northern Aegean Sea

Dogruyol H., Erkan N., Özden Ö., Can Tunçelli İ., Karakulak F. S.

ENVIRONMENTAL SCIENCE AND POLLUTION RESEARCH, vol.30, pp.111357-111368, 2023 (SCI-Expanded) identifier identifier identifier

  • Publication Type: Article / Article
  • Volume: 30
  • Publication Date: 2023
  • Doi Number: 10.1007/s11356-023-30267-4
  • Journal Indexes: Science Citation Index Expanded (SCI-EXPANDED), Scopus, IBZ Online, ABI/INFORM, Aerospace Database, Agricultural & Environmental Science Database, Aqualine, Aquatic Science & Fisheries Abstracts (ASFA), BIOSIS, CAB Abstracts, EMBASE, Environment Index, Geobase, MEDLINE, Pollution Abstracts, Veterinary Science Database, Civil Engineering Abstracts
  • Page Numbers: pp.111357-111368
  • Istanbul University Affiliated: Yes


Bays are vulnerable ecosystems generally located near densely populated areas where toxic metals tend to accumulate and stay longer, affecting marine life. This study aimed to investigate the age-based health risks arising from Hg, Cd, Pb, and As in demersal fish captured from two major bays in the Aegean Sea. For this purpose, red mullet, whiting, piper gurnard, and tub gurnard, frequently consumed species, were caught from Saros and Edremit Bays. Toxic metal concentrations were determined from the muscle tissue of fish. Health risk assessments were conducted by the estimation of weekly intake (EWI), provisional tolerable weekly intake (PTWI), target hazard quotient (THQ), total THQ (TTHQ), and target carcinogenic risk (TR). Red mullet from Edremit Bay was the species with the highest toxic metal levels, which were 1.597 mg/kg, 0.041 mg/kg, 0.070 mg/kg, and 19.351 mg/kg for Hg, Cd, Pb, and As, respectively. Whiting from Edremit Bay had higher mean concentrations of Hg and As than those from Saros Bay. The levels of Hg, Pb, and As (0.328, 0.043, and 0.574 mg/kg) in the tub gurnard were higher in comparison with the piper gurnard (0.252, 0.020, and 0.382 mg/kg) caught in the same station in Saros. TTHQs of red mullet and whiting from the same bay were found to be > 1, indicating potential health risks for all nine age categories studied. On the other hand, TTHQs of all species from Saros Bay were determined to be > 1 for the first four age categories, which might trigger health risks for children and adolescents. According to the TR index for Pb, no risk was determined for the fish from both bays. However, TR calculations for inorganic As indicated high cancer risk in most of the age categories for red mullet and whiting from Edremit Bay. To sum up, the results revealed that the fish captured from Edremit Bay posed serious health risks in terms of Hg and As concentrations for all nine age categories. Surveillance and monitoring of toxic metal levels in demersal fish and population-based health risk evaluation are vital in heavily populated bays.