The assessment of the hazard of contamination with heavy metals to consumers health based on monitoring research on the quality of Baltic fish and their products
Bulletin of the Sea Fisheries Institute 1 (140) 1997, pp. 49-57

Lucyna Polak-Juszczak
Sea Fisheries Institute, Kołłątaja 1, 81-332 Gdynia, Poland

Key words: monitoring, contaminants, Baltic fish, heavy metals.

Based on monitoring research on the contamination of Baltic fish raw materials and their products, an assessment of chemical contamination and the potential hazard to the consumers health resulting therefrom was made, drawing upon the example of  heavy metals. The assessment was based on the samples and determinations representative of raw materials and products of marine origin. Research materials consisted of Baltic fish and their products (raw materials: herring, sprat, cod and cod livers; products: canned, salted, smoked and marinated fish). Raw materials and products were considered to be safe for consumption if the heavy metal concentration in them did not exceed the allowable legal limits defined in the Polish standard and the regulation of the Ministry of Health and Social Security. In the Baltic raw materials, the limits being currently in force were not exceeded, whereas, of the 190 products examined, the allowable legal mercury content was exceeded in two cases, the cadmium content in five cases, and the arsenic and lead content in one case. No signs of the contamination of Baltic fish and their products were observed to a degree that cpuld constitute a hazard to consumers health.