Piras, Pierluigi (2014) Sicurezza alimentare dei prodotti della pesca in relazione alla presenza di metalli pesanti (Pb, Cd e Hg) e metalloidi (As) come contaminanti ambientali. Doctoral Thesis.
The fishery products are well known for their specific nutritional qualities and health authorities promote information campaigns to increase their consumption. Despite the important role in human diet, such foods may represent, to some extent, an exposure source to environmental pollution by lead, cadmium, mercury and arsenic. The toxic effect of these heavy metals and metalloids on human health is well established and their presence represents one of the main chemical risks associated with fishery products consumption. The aim of the present thesis was to provide an updated survey on the presence of these contaminants and to conduct a risk assessment on fishery products. The study was carried out in Sardinia on the coastal areas near mining territories (Sulcis-Iglesiente) and on more extensive stretches of the Mediterranean Sea. As an indication of environmental pollution various edible marine organism were monitored by the determination of contaminants bioaccumulation along the aquatic trophic chain. In addition data available from the Zooprofilattici Institutes laboratories were used to investigate the distribution of such contaminants in fishery products placed on the market. The level of exposure of the population was assessed using various approaches. Our research suggest that exposure assessment should be conducted taking into account risk/benefit ratio and differences in vulnerable groups, such as children and pregnant women, and dietary habits of coastal population.
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