Distribution of toxic and trace metals in fish from the Black Sea: Implications for human health risks


Emerging Contaminants, vol.10, no.2, 2024 (ESCI) identifier

  • Publication Type: Article / Article
  • Volume: 10 Issue: 2
  • Publication Date: 2024
  • Doi Number: 10.1016/j.emcon.2023.100295
  • Journal Name: Emerging Contaminants
  • Journal Indexes: Emerging Sources Citation Index (ESCI), Scopus
  • Keywords: Accumulation, Health risk, Risk assessment, THQ
  • Recep Tayyip Erdoğan University Affiliated: Yes


This study focused on the investigation of toxic and trace metal levels in fish caught from the Black Sea, which is facing pollution threats from various human activities. It also aimed to assess the potential health risks associated with consuming fish and contribute to the development of strategies for sustainable fisheries management. Metal presence was observed in the muscle tissues of four commercially consumed fish species (anchovy, whiting, horse mackerel and red mullet) from nine different stations in the Black Sea. Among the metals, the highest average concentration was observed for aluminium (Al) in anchovy and the lowest concentration for cadmium (Cd) in whiting. However, the levels were generally below the maximum allowable limits recommended by the FAO, WHO, EC, and Turkish Food Codex. The study results showed that metal concentrations in the analyzed fish species did not pose significant non-carcinogenic health risks to consumers. Although research findings show that some fish species studied from the Black Sea exhibit high metal levels, the concentrations of toxic and trace elements are generally within acceptable thresholds for safe fish consumption. The findings of this study are thought to help stakeholders develop strategies for environmental protection and sustainable fisheries management in the region.