Our study reports on the total mercury (HgT) concentrations measured in the muscles and livers of severalbenthic, demersal and pelagic fish species caught inside and outside of Augusta Bay (southern Italy),a semi-enclosed marine area, highly contaminated by the uncontrolled (since the 1950s to 1978s) dischargeof the largest European petrochemical plant. Mercury levels in fish tissues are discussed withregard to specific habitat, size and/or age of the specimens and HgT distribution in the bottom sediments.Results suggest a still active Hg release mechanism from the polluted sediments to the marine environment.Also, the high HgT concentrations measured in fishes caught in the external area of the bay imply apotential role of Augusta Bay as a pollutant source for the Mediterranean ecosystem. Finally, values ofhazard target quotient (THQ) and estimated weekly intake (EWI) demonstrate that consumption of fishescaught inside the bay represents a serious risk for human health. Also, data indicate that intake of fishescaught from the external area of the bay, especially for that concern demersal and benthic species, couldbe represent a significant component of risk for the local population.
|Numero di pagine||11|
|Rivista||Food and Chemical Toxicology|
|Stato di pubblicazione||Published - 2013|
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