MERCURY IN FISHERY PRODUCTS FROM CENTRAL ADRIATIC SEA (OFFICIAL CONTROLS FROM 1995 TO 2009)

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C. Ciccarelli *
A. Aliventi
V. Di Trani
A. M. Semeraro
P. Capocasa
(*) Corresponding Author:
C. Ciccarelli | lucia.zoppi@pagepress.org

Abstract

Thanks to its properties, methylmercury is the most bioavailable form of mercury compounds. In fact, it causes the most toxic effects on the immune, cardiovascular, renal and central nervous systems, in particular the fetal brain. Seafood consumption is recognized as being the largest environmental mercury source to most human populations. So, fishery products are the most important source of methylmercury exposure in human. As the mercury burden of fish increases for transference to upper trophic levels (biomagnification), piscivors have the potential to accumulate extremely high mercury loads, in the methylated form, 70 to 100% in the muscular tissues. Reg. CE 1881/2006 sets, lastly, allowed maximum levels of mercury in seafood. Several authors found out an increase of mercury levels with size of carnivorous fishes. But this relationship strictly depends on fish species, and is a result of the interaction between environmental and physiological effects. This paper describes the results of a monitoring of mercury levels in fishery products, from 1995 to 2009, before they were sold by auction in the Wholesale Fish Market in the town of San Benedetto del Tronto. The authors’aim was to set a correlation between increasing fish size (weight) and loads of the metal up to maximum levels by law.

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