Directorate of Aquatic Environment

Riyadh, Saudi Arabia

Directorate of Aquatic Environment

Riyadh, Saudi Arabia
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Burger J.,Rutgers University | Gochfeld M.,Rutgers University | Batang Z.,King Abdullah University of Science and Technology | Alikunhi N.,King Abdullah University of Science and Technology | And 4 more authors.
Environmental Monitoring and Assessment | Year: 2014

Metal levels in fish have been extensively studied, but little data currently exists for the Middle East. We examined the levels of metals and metalloids (aluminum, arsenic, copper, manganese, selenium, zinc, and mercury) in the flesh of 13 fish species collected from three fishing sites and a local fish market in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia. We tested the following null hypotheses: (1) there are no interspecific differences in metal levels, (2) there are no differences in metal levels in fishes between market and fishing sites, (3) there are no size-related differences in metal levels, and (4) there are no differences in selenium:mercury molar ratio among different fish species. There were significant interspecific differences in concentrations for all metals. There was an order of magnitude difference in the levels of aluminum, arsenic, mercury, manganese, and selenium, indicating wide variation in potential effects on the fish themselves and on their predators. Fishes from Area II, close to a large commercial port, had the highest levels of arsenic, mercury, and selenium, followed by market fishes. Mercury was positively correlated with body size in 6 of the 13 fish species examined. Mercury was correlated positively with arsenic and selenium, but negatively with aluminum, cobalt, copper, manganese, and zinc. Selenium:mercury molar ratios varied significantly among species, with Carangoides bajad, Cephalopholis argus, Variola louti, and Ephinephelus tauvina having ratios below 10:1. These findings can be used in risk assessments, design of mercury reduction plans, development of fish advisories to protect public health, and future management decision-making. © 2014 Springer International Publishing Switzerland.


Burger J.,Rutgers University | Gochfeld M.,Rutgers University | Batang Z.,King Abdullah University of Science and Technology | Alikunhi N.,King Abdullah University of Science and Technology | And 4 more authors.
Environmental Research | Year: 2014

Fish are a healthy source of protein and nutrients, but contaminants in fish may provide health risks. Determining the risk from contaminants in fish requires site-specific information on consumption patterns. We examine consumption rates for resident and expatriates in the Jeddah region of Saudi Arabia, by species of fish and fishing location. For Saudis, 3.7% of males and 4.3% of females do not eat fish; for expatriates, the percent not eating fish is 6.6% and 6.1% respectively. Most people eat fish at home (over 90%), and many eat fish at restaurants (65% and 48%, respectively for Saudis and expatriates). Fish eaten at home comes from local fish markets, followed by supermarkets. Saudis included fish in their diets at an average of 1.4±1.2 meals/week at home and 0.8±0.7 meals/week at restaurants, while expats ate 2.0±1.7 meals/week at home and 1.1±1.1 meals/week in restaurants. Overall, Saudis ate 2.2 fish meals/week, while expats ate 3.1 meals/week. Grouper (Epinephelus and Cephalopholis) were eaten by 72% and 60% respectively. Plectropomus pessuliferus was the second favorite for both groups and Hipposcarus harid and Lethrinus lentjan were in 3rd and 4th place in terms of consumption. Average meal size was 68. g for Saudis and 128. g for expatriates. These data can be used by health professionals, risk assessors, and environmental regulators to examine potential risk from contaminants in fish, and to compare consumption rates with other sites. © 2014 Elsevier Inc.


Burger J.,Rutgers University | Gochfeld M.,Rutgers University | Alikunhi N.,King Abdullah University of Science and Technology | Al-Jahdali H.,King Abdullah University of Science and Technology | And 4 more authors.
Human and Ecological Risk Assessment | Year: 2015

ABSTRACT: Fish are a healthful source of protein, but contaminants in some fish pose a risk. While there are multiple risk assessments from Europe and North America, there are far fewer for other parts of the world. We examined the risks from mercury, arsenic, lead, and other metals in fish consumed by people in Jeddah area, Saudi Arabia, using site-specific data on consumption patterns and metal levels in fish. The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency's Hazard Quotient (HQ) and cumulative Hazard Index (HI) for non-cancer endpoints and Carcinogenic Index for cancer were used to determine the health risk based on fish consumption rates. Of the 13 fish species examined, HQ was greater than 1 (indicating elevated risk) in two species for arsenic, and seven species for methylmercury. The cumulative HI for all metals was above 1 for all but three species of fish at the mean consumption rates. Generally, fish species with HI above 1 for one sampling location, had HI above 1 for all sampling locations. The implications of these findings are discussed in the light of strategies for reducing risk from fish consumption while encouraging dietary intakes of fish with low mercury and arsenic levels. © 2015, Copyright © Taylor & Francis Group, LLC.


PubMed | Directorate of Aquatic Environment, King Abdullah University of Science and Technology, Rutgers University and Princess Nora Bint Abdulrahman University
Type: | Journal: Environmental research | Year: 2014

Fish are a healthy source of protein and nutrients, but contaminants in fish may provide health risks. Determining the risk from contaminants in fish requires site-specific information on consumption patterns. We examine consumption rates for resident and expatriates in the Jeddah region of Saudi Arabia, by species of fish and fishing location. For Saudis, 3.7% of males and 4.3% of females do not eat fish; for expatriates, the percent not eating fish is 6.6% and 6.1% respectively. Most people eat fish at home (over 90%), and many eat fish at restaurants (65% and 48%, respectively for Saudis and expatriates). Fish eaten at home comes from local fish markets, followed by supermarkets. Saudis included fish in their diets at an average of 1.4 1.2 meals/week at home and 0.8 0.7 meals/week at restaurants, while expats ate 2.0 1.7 meals/week at home and 1.1 1.1 meals/week in restaurants. Overall, Saudis ate 2.2 fish meals/week, while expats ate 3.1 meals/week. Grouper (Epinephelus and Cephalopholis) were eaten by 72% and 60% respectively. Plectropomus pessuliferus was the second favorite for both groups and Hipposcarus harid and Lethrinus lentjan were in 3rd and 4th place in terms of consumption. Average meal size was 68 g for Saudis and 128 g for expatriates. These data can be used by health professionals, risk assessors, and environmental regulators to examine potential risk from contaminants in fish, and to compare consumption rates with other sites.

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