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Anais da Academia Brasileira de Ciências

Print version ISSN 0001-3765On-line version ISSN 1678-2690

Abstract

ARANTES, Fábio P. et al. Bioaccumulation of mercury, cadmium, zinc, chromium, and lead in muscle, liver, and spleen tissues of a large commercially valuable catfish species from Brazil. An. Acad. Bras. Ciênc. [online]. 2016, vol.88, n.1, pp.137-147.  Epub Feb 05, 2016. ISSN 0001-3765.  https://doi.org/10.1590/0001-3765201620140434.

The increasing amounts of heavy metals entering aquatic environments can result in high accumulation levels of these contaminants in fish and their consumers, which pose a serious risk to ecosystems and human health. We investigated the concentrations of mercury (Hg), cadmium (Cd), zinc (Zn), chromium (Cr), and lead (Pb) in muscle, liver, and spleen tissues of Pseudoplatystoma corruscans specimens collected from two sites on the Paraopeba River, Brazil. The level of heavy metals concentrations in the tissues was often higher in viscera (i.e. liver and spleen) than in muscle, and thus, the viscera should not be considered for human consumption. Correlations between metal concentrations and fish size were not significant. Although the levels of muscle bioaccumulation of Hg, Cd, Zn, Cr, and Pb, generally do not exceed the safe levels for human consumption, the constant presence of heavy metals in concentrations near those limits considered safe for human consumption, is a reason for concern, and populations who constantly consume fish from polluted rivers should be warned. Our findings also indicate that in a river network where certain areas are connected to other areas with high rates of environmental pollutants, people should be cautious about the regular consumption of fish, even when the fish consumed are caught in stretches of the basin where contamination levels are considered low, since many of the freshwater fish with high commercial value, such as the catfish surubim, are migratory.

Keywords : contamination; freshwater fish; heavy metal; human health.

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