Cadernos de Saúde Pública
Print version ISSN 0102-311X
CAVALCANTI, André Dias. Monitoring of trace elements in oysters marketed in Recife, Pernambuco, Brazil. Cad. Saúde Pública [online]. 2003, vol.19, n.5, pp. 1545-1551. ISSN 0102-311X. http://dx.doi.org/10.1590/S0102-311X2003000500034.
Samples of oysters marketed in Recife, Pernambuco, Brazil, were monitored for the concentration of trace elements (Hg, Zn, Fe, Cu, and Mn) for one year (from March 2001 to February 2002). Mercury was the principal contaminant found in oysters and the element posing the greatest public health risk. Mercury levels in oysters reached 551.12µg/kg (wet weight). These values suggest that oyster consumption should be restricted, especially among communities that gather them as a subsistence activity, as well as by children and pregnant women. Evaluation of mercury concentration in seafood is an important factor for assessing the risk of contamination among individuals who are not occupationally exposed.
Keywords : Oysters; Mercury; Atomic Absorption; Chemical Contamination; Environmental Pollution.