Methylmercury Concentration in Fish and Risk-Benefit Assessment of Fish Intake among Pregnant versus Infertile Women in Taiwan

Hsing Cheng Hsi, You Wen Hsu, Tien Chin Chang, Ling Chu Chien

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12 Citations (Scopus)


This study examined methylmercury (MeHg) concentrations in fish, the daily MeHg exposure dose, and the risk-benefit of MeHg, ω-3 polyunsaturated fatty acid (ω-3 PUFA), docosahexaenoic acid (DHA), and eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA) related to fish intake among pregnant and infertile women in Taiwan. The measured MeHg concentrations in fish did not exceed the Codex guideline level of 1 mg/kg. Swordfish (0.28 ± 0.23 mg/kg) and tuna (0.14 ± 0.13 mg/kg) had the highest MeHg concentrations. The MeHg concentration in the hair of infertile women (1.82 ± 0.14 mg/kg) was significantly greater than that of pregnant women (1.24 ± 0.18 mg/kg). In addition, 80% of infertile women and 68% of pregnant women had MeHg concentrations in hair that exceeded the USEPA reference dose (1 mg/kg). The MeHg concentrations in hair were significantly and positively correlated with the estimated daily MeHg exposure dose. Based on the risk-benefit evaluation results, this paper recommends consumption of fish species with a low MeHg concentration and high concentrations of DHA + EPA and ω-3 PUFA (e.g., salmon, mackerel, and greater amberjack).

Original languageEnglish
Article numbere0155704
JournalPLoS One
Issue number5
Publication statusPublished - May 2016


ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Agricultural and Biological Sciences(all)
  • Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology(all)
  • Medicine(all)

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