American Journal of Environmental Sciences

Risk Assessment of Heavy Metals in Fish in Saudi Arabia

Othman M. Hakami

DOI : 10.3844/ajessp.2016.341.357

American Journal of Environmental Sciences

Volume 12, Issue 6

Pages 341-357


Heavy metals such as arsenic, cadmium, mercury and lead constitute a serious threat to human health. Generally, regular consumption of fish is recommended because it is a good source of omega-3 fatty acids, which have been associated with health benefits. However, flesh of some fish species contains heavy metals in high concentration, which may pose health risk for individuals that consume them in significant quantities. Therefore, over the last few years, evaluation of heavy metals in fish has become a matter of great global concern and especially in Kingdom of Saudi Arabia.The aim of the present work was toassess the concentration of the most toxic heavy metals present in fish caught along the eastern and western coasts of Saudi Arabia, which was achieved through several studies. Results yielded by analyzing 73 fish species and 1,027 edible fish part samples from 12 sampling sitesrevealed considerable variation in metal concentrations across the sampling locations and fish species. Amounts of some of heavy metals were below the maximum allowed limit. Moreover, high hazard index (HI > 10) was obtained for the consumption of some fish species caught at specific sites, which indicates a high probability of consuming populations experiencing adverse health effects.


© 2016 Othman M. Hakami. This is an open access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author and source are credited.