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Assessment of metal contamination in fish from estuaries of southern and southeastern Brazil

Trevizani, Tailisi Hoppe, Domit, Camila, Vedolin, Marcela Corrêa, Angeli, José Lourenço Friedmann, Figueira, Rubens Cesar Lopes
Environmental monitoring and assessment 2019 v.191 no.5 pp. 308
Isopisthus parvipinnis, Paralonchurus brasiliensis, Stellifer rastrifer, United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization, arsenic, atomic absorption spectrometry, bioaccumulation, biodiversity, chemical pollutants, chromium, cities, coasts, copper, ecosystems, estuaries, fish, fisheries, heavy metals, humans, lead, liver, mercury, monitoring, muscles, nickel, public health, risk, seafoods, sustainable development, tissues, urbanization, vapors, zinc, Brazil
Historically, the Brazilian coast has been impacted by urban, industrial, and port activities that have increased the input of chemical contaminants, such as heavy metals, to the ecosystem. The Paranaguá estuarine complex (PEC), Cananéia-Iguape estuarine-lagoon complex (CIELC), and Santos-São Vicente estuarine complex (SSVEC) (S-SE Brazil) are surrounded by urbanized cities and port areas characterized by various anthropogenic discharges comprising several potential pollutants, including heavy metals. Concerns about such contamination are paramount because these estuaries are important for traditional fishing communities and are categorized as World Heritage sites and biodiversity hotspots by UNESCO. In this study, metals (Cu, Cr, Ni, Pb, Zn, and Hg) and metalloids (As and Se) known to affect the health of marine life were evaluated in regional fishes. Muscle and liver tissues from three demersal teleosts (Stellifer rastrifer, Paralonchurus brasiliensis, and Isopisthus parvipinnis) were analyzed by inductively coupled plasma optical emission spectrometry (ICP-OES), with a coupled vapor generated accessory (VGA). Irrespective of species, metal bioconcentration was significantly greater in fishes from the PEC and CIELC, which had higher As, Cu, and Zn concentrations, while Se levels were higher in fish from the PEC and SSVEC estuaries. Seasonality, fish species and maturation stage affected the accumulation of metals. Some metal levels, including As, Cr, Pb, and Se in all species across all estuaries, and Zn in the PEC, exceeded the maximum permitted level for seafood and might present a risk for daily human consumption. The results provide reference points for existing chemical contamination and should be used to guide monitoring programs and the sustainable development of these coastal regions, within a broader objective of maintaining public health.