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Brazilian Archives of Biology and Technology

Print version ISSN 1516-8913On-line version ISSN 1678-4324


JOYEUX, Jean-Christophe; CAMPANHA FILHO, Edmar Augusto  and  JESUS, Honério Coutinho de. Trace metal contamination in estuarine fishes from Vitória Bay, ES, Brazil. Braz. arch. biol. technol. [online]. 2004, vol.47, n.5, pp.765-774. ISSN 1678-4324.

Muscular tissue from wild-caught mullet (Mugil spp.) and snook (Centropomus spp.) was analyzed by atomic absorption spectrometry to determine muscle contamination levels for cadmium, chromium, copper, lead and zinc and evaluate risks to human health associated with seafood consumption. Fishes were captured by subsistence fishermen in Vitória Bay, a Brazilian tropical estuary with numerous outfalls of untreated industrial and residential sewage. Based on the premisses that subsistence fisherman and local consumer show weak (culinary or other) preferences within the taxa studied, analyses were conducted and results are reported for genera. Snook cadmium, chromium, copper and zinc concentrations were positively correlated with size or weight. Mullet chromium concentration decreased with size. Cadmium and lead were higher and zinc lower in mullet than in snook. Summer cadmium and lead concentrations were higher than in winter. Chromium presented concentrations consistently over the legal Brazilian limit for seafood. However, the greatest health concern was probably related to lead concentration, especially in respect to consumption by young children.

Keywords : Estuary; Cd; Cr; Cu; Pb; Zn; Snook; Mullet.

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