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Revista Costarricense de Salud Pública

Print version ISSN 1409-1429


SALAZAR CHACON, Yajaira et al. Evaluation of Mercury Levels in Fishery Products in Costa Rica, During 2003-2013, as an Input to recommend a tolerable weekly intake. Rev. costarric. salud pública [online]. 2016, vol.25, n.1, pp.18-32. ISSN 1409-1429.

Fish and seafood can accumulate mercury in their tissues. This work establishes fishery products intake recommendations for the residents of Costa Rica, based upon the evaluation of mercury levels on fish and seafood analyzed during years 2003-2013.


To evaluate mercury levels (in mg/kg) in fishery samples, as analyzed by the National Veterinary Services Laboratory (LANASEVE) of the National Animal Health Service (SENASA) of Costa Rica, during the 2003-2013 period, to suggest a Tolerable Weekly Intake Recommendation (TWIR) for fish and seafood.


Mercury assays were performed, under a risk-analysis scheme determined by the National Residue Program of SENASA, in fish and seafood. Muscle samples were collected by SENASA staff and sent to LANASEVE for evaluation of Hg contents. Mercury concentrations were then compared to two limit values established by national and international regulations for seafood: 1 mg Hg/kg for predatory fish, and 0,5 mg Hg/kg for other fishery products.


It was found that, approximately, 85 % of predatory fish samples complied with the 1 mg Hg/kg limit value. Meanwhile, 93 % of the other fishery products analyzed, showed mercury levels below 0,5 mg/kg.


For pregnant women TWIR values were established at 171 g for predatory fish and 889 g for other fishery products, while for children the TWIR values were 100 g for predatory fish and 519 g for other fishery products.

Keywords : Evaluation; mercury; fish products; Costa Rica; intake.

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