Human health risk assessment of heavy metals accumulation in different genders and tissues of whiting fish (Merlangius merlangus euxinus Nordmann, 1840) from Rize, Turkey

ŞİRİN M., Bayrak E. Y., BALTAŞ H.

Journal of Food Composition and Analysis, vol.127, 2024 (SCI-Expanded) identifier

  • Publication Type: Article / Article
  • Volume: 127
  • Publication Date: 2024
  • Doi Number: 10.1016/j.jfca.2024.105971
  • Journal Name: Journal of Food Composition and Analysis
  • Journal Indexes: Science Citation Index Expanded (SCI-EXPANDED), Scopus, Academic Search Premier, PASCAL, Analytical Abstracts, BIOSIS, Biotechnology Research Abstracts, CAB Abstracts, Food Science & Technology Abstracts, Veterinary Science Database
  • Keywords: Black Sea, Health risk, Heavy metal, Whiting fish
  • Recep Tayyip Erdoğan University Affiliated: Yes


The contamination of fish resulting from marine pollution is a major concern, as it poses potential adverse effects on human health. Therefore, heavy metal concentrations (Cr, Fe, Ni, Cu, Zn, and Pb) in different genders and tissues (muscle, liver, gonads and gills) of whiting fish collected from fish markets in Rize province were determined by Inductively–coupled plasma optic emission spectrometry (ICP–OES). The concentration ranges of heavy metals in all tissue samples, based on the overall average, were as follows (mg/kg wet weight): Cr: 0.081–0.25, Fe: 2.3–40, Ni: 0.070–0.095, Cu: 0.33–1.01, Zn: 3.0–20, and Pb: 0.015–0.043. The results indicated that the liver and gills exhibited a higher metal accumulation capacity compared to other tissues, whereas the muscle consistently displayed the lowest metal concentrations. The metal concentrations in the muscle were found to be below the maximum permissible levels set by international organizations for seafood. Additionally, calculated estimated daily intake (EDI), metal pollution index (MPI), target hazard quotient (THQ), total exposure hazard index (HI), and target carcinogenic risk (TR) indicate no potential risk to humans from whiting fish consumption.