Population-based health risk assessment of potentially toxic elements (PTEs) in commodity fishes from Laguna de Bay, Philippines

Author(s): Mylene Cayetano
Email (s): mcayetano@iesm.upd.edu.ph
Institution or organization of origin: University of The Philippines-Diliman
Country: Philippines


Human health risk due to exposure to the potentially toxic elements (PTEs) in milkfish (Chanos chanos) and tilapia (Oreochromis niloticus) from Laguna de Bay were assessed based on Central Tendency Exposure (CTE) and Reasonable Maximum Exposure (RME) scenarios. Fish consumption rates of the targeted lakeshore residents (children, female-of-childbearing age, adult) from the East and West bays of the Lake were estimated from the survey using the developed standardized fish portion guide. The PTEs investigated were inorganic Arsenic (iAs), cadmium (Cd), chromium (Cr), cobalt (Co), copper (Cu), lead (Pb), manganese (Mn), nickel (Ni), strontium (Sr), and vanadium (V). Muscles of the fishes were microwave-digested in acid and quantified using inductively coupled plasma – mass spectrometry (ICP-MS). Results showed that the mean iAs, Cd, and Cr content in the muscles of the fish samples were below the international regulatory limits.

The degree of contamination of PTEs in the fish sample were assessed using the elemental pollution index (EPI). While the study revealed that non-carcinogenic health hazards were negligible as the hazard index were below the safe standard 1, the target cancer risk of inorganic As due to the intake of milkfish from the West Bay by specific populations were above the acceptable value of 1×10-6. Overall, among the two variables (fish consumption and levels of PTEs) it is the higher milkfish consumption (90th percentile) that may pose a concern as it was shown to have increased the health risk, compared with the effect of higher PTE content (90th percentile) in the fishes.

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