Does eating fish cause cancer? A case study metal(loid)s accumulation in mackerel and sardine tissues from İskenderun Bay, Türkiye


Environmental Monitoring and Assessment, vol.195, no.9, 2023 (SCI-Expanded) identifier identifier identifier

  • Publication Type: Article / Article
  • Volume: 195 Issue: 9
  • Publication Date: 2023
  • Doi Number: 10.1007/s10661-023-11779-5
  • Journal Name: Environmental Monitoring and Assessment
  • Journal Indexes: Science Citation Index Expanded (SCI-EXPANDED), Scopus, ABI/INFORM, Agricultural & Environmental Science Database, Aqualine, Aquatic Science & Fisheries Abstracts (ASFA), BIOSIS, CAB Abstracts, Compendex, EMBASE, Environment Index, Food Science & Technology Abstracts, Geobase, Greenfile, Pollution Abstracts, Public Affairs Index, Veterinary Science Database, Civil Engineering Abstracts
  • Keywords: Edible fish, Cancer risk, Target hazard quotient, Metal(loid)-metal(loid) interactions, Iskenderun Bay, HUMAN HEALTH-RISK, HEAVY-METALS CONCENTRATIONS, MEDITERRANEAN SEA, TRACE-METALS, MARINE FISH, CONSUMPTION, IRON, BIOACCUMULATION, SHELLFISH, SEDIMENTS
  • Ankara University Affiliated: Yes


Due to the increasing harmful effects of metal(loid)s over time, it has become important in environmental studies carried out to increase environmental awareness. It is important to investigate the cumulative presence of metal(loid)s in nature, their interactions with each other and risks posed by fish consumption for human health. Total concentrations of As, Cd, Cu, Fe, Mn, Ni, Pb, and Zn were determined in muscle and gill tissues of horse mackerel (Trachurus trachurus) and sardine (Sardina pilchardus). Metal analyses were carried out using Inductively Coupled Plasma-Mass Spectroscopic (ICP-MS) methods. In both tissues, Fe and Zn concentrations were the highest and Cd, Cu and Pb concentrations were the lowest. The target hazard coefficient, estimated daily intake, target cancer risk, total target hazard coefficient, and hazard indices were calculated to assess the risks to an individual's health from consuming fish. Hazard index and total target hazard coefficient values calculated for each fish exceeded 1 but were very close to 1. Target cancer risk values of As and Ni were found to be 10–6 and 10–4 for Pb. These limit values indicate the need for regular monitoring of the region. In addition, the interactions between the metal(loid)s accumulated in the tissues were analyzed and a high correlation was found between As-Ni, which poses a risk to public health.