Mercury concentration in samples of fresh and (processed) canned tuna fish
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Wydział Farmaceutyczny z Oddziałem Medycyny Laboratoryjnej w Sosnowcu, Śląski Uniwersytet Medyczny, Polska
Agnieszka Fischer   

Department of Toxicology, School of Pharmacy with the Division of Laboratory Medicine in Sosnowiec, Medical University of Silesia, ul. Jagiellońska 4, 41-200, Sosnowiec, Polska
Med Srod. 2019;22(1-2):24–28
According to the guidelines of the Food and Nutrition Institute in Warsaw, the consumption fish and fish preserves is an essential element of a balanced diet. They are an extremely valuable source of polyunsaturated fatty acids, protein, vitamins and minerals. Unfortunately, due to water pollution organisms living therein, they can be a potential threat to human health. Tuna fish accumulates a significant amount of mercury (Hg) as organic derivatives. Mercury concentration was investigated in fresh and processed (canned) tuna samples. The obtained results were referred to legally binding standards. It was also analyzed whether the Hg concentration in fish samples is affected by the form of the product (fresh/processed in cans) and their region of origin.

Material and methods:
The analysis included 35 samples of fresh and processed (canned) tuna purchased in popular stores in the Silesian Province of southwest Poland. The AAS method (AMA 254 analyzer) for the total Hg concentration in tuna was used.

The concentration of Hg in the examined samples was: 0.1634ppm (arithmetic mean) and 0.1282ppm (median). The Hg concentration was higher in fresh (non-canned) tuna samples than in the canned fish. Fresh tuna fish contained more metal than that from cans. The level of mercury in most of the analyzed samples did not exceed the legal standards of the European Union.

Tuna fish can be a potential source of exposure to mercury, especially for people consuming large amounts of the fish or being more vulnerable to Hg, mainly children

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