Contamination level of mercury in red meat products from cetaceans available from South Korea markets

Endo, Tetsuya, Yong-Un, Ma, Baker, C. Scott, Funahashi, Naoko, Lavery, Shane, Dalebout, Merel L., Lukoschek, Vimoksalehi, and Haraguchi, Koichi (2007) Contamination level of mercury in red meat products from cetaceans available from South Korea markets. Marine Pollution Bulletin, 54 (6). pp. 669-677.

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Levels of total mercury (T-Hg) were surveyed in red meat (n = 73) and liver (n = 3) from toothed whales, dolphins and porpoises (odontocetes) sold for human consumption in the coastal cities of South Korea. High concentrations of T-Hg were found in the liver products of finless porpoises (18.7 and 156 μg/wet g) and common dolphins (13.2 μg/wet g). The T-Hg concentrations in red meat products were highest in the false killer whale (9.66 ± 12.3 μg/wet g, n = 9), bottlenose dolphin (10.6 ± 12.6 μg/wet g, n = 3) and killer whale (13.3 μg/wet g, n = 1), and lowest in Cuvier’s beaked whale and the harbour porpoise (0.4–0.5 μg/wet g). Thus, most of the products that originated from odontocetes exceeded the safety limit of 0.5 μg/wet g for T-Hg set by the South Korean health authorities for the fishery industry. Pregnant women and other vulnerable sectors of the population living in South Korea should therefore limit their consumption of odontocete products.

Item ID: 2743
Item Type: Article (Research - C1)
ISSN: 0025-326X
Keywords: total mercury; red meat; dolphin; porpoise; whale; South Korea; provisional tolerable weekly intake; human health
Date Deposited: 31 Aug 2009 06:53
FoR Codes: 03 CHEMICAL SCIENCES > 0301 Analytical Chemistry > 030199 Analytical Chemistry not elsewhere classified @ 50%
06 BIOLOGICAL SCIENCES > 0604 Genetics > 060411 Population, Ecological and Evolutionary Genetics @ 50%
SEO Codes: 97 EXPANDING KNOWLEDGE > 970106 Expanding Knowledge in the Biological Sciences @ 70%
96 ENVIRONMENT > 9699 Other Environment > 969999 Environment not elsewhere classified @ 30%
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