Mercury species of sediment and fish in freshwater fish ponds around the Pearl River Delta, PR China: Human health risk assessment

Dingding Shao, Peng Liang, Yuan Kang, Hongsheng Wang, Zhang Cheng, Shengchun Wu, Jianbo Shi, Chun Lap Samuel Lo, Wenxiong Wang, Ming H. Wong

Research output: Journal article publicationJournal articleAcademic researchpeer-review

38 Citations (Scopus)


This study investigated total mercury (THg) and methylmercury (MeHg) concentrations in five species of freshwater fish and their associated fish pond sediments collected from 18 freshwater fish ponds around the Pearl River Delta (PRD). The concentrations of THg and MeHg in fish pond surface sediments were 33.1-386ngg-1dry wt and 0.18-1.25ngg-1dry wt, respectively. The age of ponds affected the surface sediment MeHg concentration. The vertical distribution of MeHg in sediment cores showed that MeHg concentrations decreased with increasing depth in the top 10cm. In addition, a significant correlation was observed between %MeHg and DNA from Desulfovibrionacaea or Desulfobulbus (p<0.05) in sediment cores. Concentrations of THg and MeHg in fish muscles ranged from 7.43-76.7 to 5.93-76.1ngg-1wet wt, respectively, with significant linear relationships (r=0.97, p<0.01, n=122) observed between THg and MeHg levels in fish. A significant correlation between THg concentrations in fish (herbivorous: r=0.71, p<0.05, n=7; carnivorous: r=0.77, p<0.05, n=11) and corresponding sediments was also obtained. Risk assessment indicated that the consumption of largemouth bass and mandarin fish would result in higher estimated daily intakes (EDIs) of MeHg than reference dose (RfD) for both adults and children.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)443-448
Number of pages6
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 1 Apr 2011


  • Freshwater fish
  • Mercury
  • Methylmercury
  • Risk assessment
  • Sediment

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Environmental Chemistry
  • Chemistry(all)

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