Toxic metals in the warty crab in the southern Black Sea: Assessment of human health risk

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Bat L., Arici E., Öztekin A., Şahin F. Toxic metals in the warty crab in the southern Black Sea: Assessment of human health risk. Marine Biological Journal, 2020, vol. 5, no. 1, pp. 3-11.

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The present study was performed to assess Cd, Pb, and Hg contaminations and human health risk in the warty crab Eriphia verrucosa (Forskål, 1775) in Akliman shores of Sinop Peninsula of the Black Sea. Heavy metals analysis was performed by inductively coupled plasma mass spectrometry. Among studied toxic metals, Pb had the highest mean concentration in E. verrucosa. The highest mean concentration of Pb (0.2 mg per kg of wet weight) was observed in male samples of the warty crab. However, higher concentrations of Cd and Hg (0.11 and 0.019 mg per kg of wet weight, respectively) were observed in females of E. verrucosa. The mean Cd values found in the warty crabs were higher in May and June than those in July and August. On the other hand, Pb values were recorded in July and August. The mean Hg values were not different between months except July and August for male samples of E. verrucosa. Foraging seasons of these crabs are different, which can lead to differences in prey size and ultimately metals intake. However, the results show that a toxic heavy metal concentration in edible tissues of crab from the southern Black Sea was within the permissible limits given by national and international food codices. Target hazard quotient (THQ) for each metal and hazard index (HI) were calculated to evaluate non-carcinogenic human health risks. Estimated THQs of Cd, Pb, and Hg suggest that these metals in the warty crab do not pose any apparent threat to humans, when the HI value is below the value of 1. The result of the analysis has shown that the warty crab E. verrucosa can be used as bioindicator as it contains variable levels of the metals observed. Since consumption is the main source of heavy metal intake by humans, monitoring studies are needed to protect public health and take preventive measures.


L. Bat

head of department, Prof., D. Sc.

E. Arici

D. Sc.

A. Öztekin

PhD Student

F. Şahin

D. Sc.


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