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Bioaccumulation of Trace Elements in Ruditapes philippinarum from China: Public Health Risk Assessment Implications

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      The Manila clam Ruditapes philippinarum is one of the most important commercial bivalve species consumed in China. Evaluated metal burden in bivalve molluscs can pose potential risks to public health as a result of their frequent consumption. In this study, concentrations of 10 trace elements (Cu, Zn, Mn, Se, Ni, Cd, Cr, Pb, Hg and As) were determined in samples of the bivalve Ruditapes philippinarum, collected from nine mariculture zones along the coast of China between November and December in 2010, in order to evaluate the status of elemental metal pollution in these areas. Also, a public health risk assessment was untaken to assess the potential risks associated with the consumption of clams. The ranges of concentrations found for Cu, Zn, Mn, Se, Ni, Cd, Cr, Pb, Hg and As in R. philippinarum were 12.1–38.0, 49.5–168.3, 42.0–68.0, 4.19–8.71, 4.76–14.32, 0.41–1.11, 0.94–4.74, 0.32–2.59, 0.03–0.23 and 0.46–11.95 mg·kg −1 dry weight, respectively. Clear spatial variations were found for Cu, Zn, Cr, Pb, Hg and As, whereas Mn, Se, Ni, and Cd did not show significant spatial variation. Hotspots of trace element contamination in R. philippinarum can be found along the coast of China, from the north to the south, especially in the Bohai and Yellow Seas. Based on a 58.1 kg individual consuming 29 g of bivalve molluscs per day, the values of the estimated daily intake (EDI) of trace elements analyzed were significantly lower than the values of the accepted daily intake (ADI) established by Joint Food and Agriculture Organization/World Health Organization Expert Committee on Food Additives (JFAO/WHO) and the guidelines of the reference does (RfD) established by the United States Environmental Protection Agency (USEPA). Additionally, the risk of trace elements to humans through R. philippinarum consumption was also assessed. The calculated hazard quotients (HQ) of all trace elements were less than 1. Consequently, there was no obvious public risk from the intake of these trace elements through R. philippinarum consumption.

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        The effect of underweight and obesity on mortality has not been well characterized in Asian populations. To examine the relationship between body mass index (BMI) and mortality in Chinese adults. A prospective cohort study in a nationally representative sample of 169,871 Chinese men and women aged 40 years or older. Data on body weight and covariables were obtained at a baseline examination in 1991 using a standard protocol. Follow-up evaluation was conducted in 1999-2000, with a response rate of 93.4% (n = 158,666). Body mass index and all-cause mortality. After excluding those participants with missing body weight or height values, 154,736 adults were included in the analysis. After adjustment for age, sex, cigarette smoking, alcohol consumption, physical activity, education, geographic region (north vs south), and urbanization (urban vs rural), a U-shaped association between BMI and all-cause mortality was observed (P<.001). Using those participants with a BMI of 24.0 to 24.9 as the reference group, the relative risks of all-cause mortality across categories of BMI were 1.65 (95% confidence interval [CI], 1.54-1.77) for BMI less than 18.5, 1.31 (95% CI, 1.22-1.41) for BMI 18.5 to 19.9, 1.20 (95% CI, 1.11-1.29) for BMI 20.0 to 20.9, 1.12 (95% CI, 1.04-1.21) for BMI 21.0 to 21.9, 1.11 (95% CI, 1.03-1.20) for BMI 22.0 to 22.9, 1.09 (95% CI, 1.01-1.19) for BMI 23.0 to 23.9, 1.00 (95% CI, 0.92-1.08) for BMI 25.0 to 26.9, 1.15 (95% CI, 1.06-1.24) for BMI 27.0 to 29.9, and 1.29 (95% CI, 1.16-1.42) for BMI 30.0 or more. The U-shaped association existed even after excluding participants who were current or former smokers, heavy alcohol drinkers, or who had prevalent chronic illness at the baseline examination, or who died during the first 3 years of follow-up. A similar association was observed between BMI and mortality from cardiovascular disease, cancer, and other causes. Our results indicate that both underweight and obesity were associated with increased mortality in the Chinese adult population. Furthermore, our findings support the use of a single common recommendation for defining overweight and obesity among all racial and ethnic groups.
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          Annual global aquaculture production has more than tripled within the past 15 years, and by 2015, aquaculture is predicted to account for 39% of total global seafood production by weight. Given that lack of adequate nutrition is a leading contributor to the global burden of disease, increased food production through aquaculture is a seemingly welcome sign. However, as production surges, aquaculture facilities increasingly rely on the heavy input of formulated feeds, antibiotics, antifungals, and agrochemicals. This review summarizes our current knowledge concerning major chemical, biological and emerging agents that are employed in modern aquaculture facilities and their potential impacts on public health. Findings from this review indicate that current aquaculture practices can lead to elevated levels of antibiotic residues, antibiotic-resistant bacteria, persistent organic pollutants, metals, parasites, and viruses in aquacultured finfish and shellfish. Specific populations at risk of exposure to these contaminants include individuals working in aquaculture facilities, populations living around these facilities, and consumers of aquacultured food products. Additional research is necessary not only to fully understand the human health risks associated with aquacultured fish versus wild-caught fish but also to develop appropriate interventions that could reduce or prevent these risks. In order to adequately understand, address and prevent these impacts at local, national and global scales, researchers, policy makers, governments, and aquaculture industries must collaborate and cooperate in exchanging critical information and developing targeted policies that are practical, effective and enforceable.

            Author and article information

            College of Fisheries and Life Science, Dalian Ocean University, Dalian 116023, China; E-Mails: yangfeng@ (F.Y.); zhaoliqiang@ (L.Z.); wangyuan@ (W.Y.)
            Author notes

            These authors contributed equally to this work.

            [* ] Author to whom correspondence should be addressed; E-Mail: yanxiwu@ ; Tel./Fax: +86-0411-8476-3026.
            Int J Environ Res Public Health
            Int J Environ Res Public Health
            International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health
            02 April 2013
            April 2013
            : 10
            : 4
            : 1392-1405
            © 2013 by the authors; licensee MDPI, Basel, Switzerland.

            This article is an open access article distributed under the terms and conditions of the Creative Commons Attribution license (


            Public health

            china, risk assessment, public health, trace element, ruditapes philippinarum


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