Levels of mercury and arsenic contamination in popular fish and shrimp brands consumed in Saudi Arabia

  • M. W. Ashraf
  • A. Mian
Keywords: Arabian Gulf, Fish, Shrimp, Arsenic, Mercury


ABSTRACT. Fish and shrimp are public sources of healthy protein for a large fragment of the Saudi population. Therefore, the present work was conducted to assess the level of possible arsenic (As) and mercury (Hg)          con­tamination of these sea foods. Eight species of fish and two species of shrimp were collected from the local mar­kets of Eastern Province, Saudi Arabia. Mercury and arsenic concentration of samples was determined by hydride generation atomic absorption spectrometry (HG-AAS). Highest average concentration of total Hg was found in Siganus canaliculatus (0.54 ± 0.06 µg/g) while the lowest level was detected in Lethrinus miniatus (0.24 ± 0.07 µg/g). For shrimp species, the levels varied from 0.13 to 0.91 µg/g for mercury and 0.19 to 0.53 µg/g for arsenic. The rank order of shrimp species based upon mercury level was Penaeus semisulcatus > Penaeus indicus; whereas based upon arsenic level it was almost similar. Mean levels of both Hg and As in all the species studied are lower than the limits set by international health agencies; 0.550 µg/g for mercury and 6.0 µg/g for arsenic.


KEY WORDS: Arabian Gulf, Fish, Shrimp, Arsenic, Mercury


Bull. Chem. Soc. Ethiop. 2019, 33(3), 573-578.      

DOI: https://dx.doi.org/10.4314/bcse.v33i3.17


Journal Identifiers

eISSN: 1726-801X
print ISSN: 1011-3924