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Article Title

Total and organic Hg in fish from the reservoir of a chlor-alkali plant in Tainan, Taiwan

Abstract

Total mercury (THg) and organic mercury (OHg) concentrations were determined by cold-vapor AAS in ten species of fish, which were caught in the reservoir of a chlor-alkali plant in Tainan, Taiwan that had been abandoned for 22 years. The fishes, including Elops machnata, Pelates quadrilineatus, Gerres filamentosus, Leiognathus equulus, Thryssa hamiltonii, Orechromis spp., Nematalosa come, Liza macrolepis, Mugil cephalus and Chanos chanos, were sampled from September to October 2003. THg and OHg concentrations (μg/g flesh wt.) in fish muscles were 0.43 ± 0.36 and 0.31 ± 0.21, respectively, similar to values reported from various chlor-alkali plants worldwide. Of the OHg values, 37% exceeded the food safety limit of 0.3 μg/g set by the World Health Organization. Moreover, 77% of the tested OHg values were over 0.17 μg/g, which had been suggested for seafood safety limit in Taiwan. Finally, 100 g of fish muscle is the maximum allowable weekly consumption amount for the adult residents to avoid health treat that arise from ingesting toxic OHg.

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