Assessment of human health risk: Copper and lead concentrations in Stone Scorpionfish (Scorpaena mystes) from the coastal region of Santa Rosalia in the Gulf of California, Mexico

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Metal pollution of the marine environment is recognized as a serious concern not only for the environment but also because of its possible impact on human health. The stone scorpionfish, Scorpaena mystes, has become a first-class fish in the Gulf of California. In Santa Rosalia, Baja California Sur, a long-time copper mining region, this species is caught and commercialized, and as a result, it has become an important source of protein for the local population. In this study, fish were collected monthly from May 2015 through April 2016 and Cd, Cu and Pb concentrations were determined for adult fish during four seasons: summer, autumn, winter and spring. Cadmium values were below detection limits while significant differences were found for Cu and Pb, between seasons. Copper was higher in winter than in summer. Lead was higher in summer compared to autumn 2015 and spring 2016; however, levels of Pb during winter were below detection limits. Human health risk was assessed by using the hazard index (HI) and the hazard quotient for each metal (HQ) for various age groups, the younger the age group the higher the HI, however it was below 1 for all age groups. Also, Percentage Weekly Intake (PWI) was obtained for each age group for Pb and represented less than 5% of the Provisional Tolerable Weekly Intake (PTWI). Based on these results fish consumption at the rates proposed poses no risk for the general population in the region.

Original languageEnglish
Article number101003
JournalRegional Studies in Marine Science
StatePublished - Feb 2020



  • Hazard index
  • Human health
  • PWI
  • Santa Rosalia
  • Scorpaena mystes

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