Arsenic and arsenic species in shellfish and finfish from the western Arabian Gulf and consumer health risk assessment

Periyadan K. Krishnakumar, Mohammad A. Qurban, Michael Stiboller, Keeve E. Nachman, Thadickal V. Joydas, Karuppasamy P. Manikandan, Shemsi Ahsan Mushir, Kevin A. Francesconi

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

43 Scopus citations


This study reports the levels of total arsenic and arsenic species in marine biota such as clams (Meretrix meretrix; N = 21) and pearl oyster (Pinctada radiata; N = 5) collected from nine costal sites in Jan 2014, and cuttlefish (Sepia pharaonis; N = 8), shrimp (Penaeus semisulcatus; N = 1), and seven commercially important finfish species (N = 23) collected during Apr–May 2013 from seven offshore sites in the western Arabian Gulf. Total As and As species such as dimethylarsinic acid (DMA), arsenobetaine (AB), trimethylarsine oxide (TMAO), arsenocholine (AC), tetramethylarsonium ion (Tetra), arsenosugar-glycerol (As-Gly) and inorganic As (iAs) were determined by using ICPMS and HPLC/ICPMS. In bivalves, the total As concentrations ranged from 16 to 118 mg/kg dry mass; the toxic iAs fraction contributed on average less than 0.8% of the total As, while the nontoxic AB fraction formed around 58%. Total As concentrations for the remaining seafood (cuttlefish, shrimp and finfish) ranged from 11 to 134 mg/kg dry mass and the iAs and AB fractions contributed on average 0.03% and 81% respectively of the total As. There was no significant relationship between the tissue concentrations of total As and iAs in the samples. There was also no significant relationship between As levels in seafood and geographical location or salinity of the waters from which samples were collected. Based on our results, we recommend introducing a maximum permissible level of arsenic in seafood from the Gulf based on iAs content rather than based on total As. Our analyses of cancer risks and non-cancer hazards identified non-negligible risks and the potential for hazards; the greatest risks were identified for expatriate consumers of bivalves and high-end consumers of seafood. Despite this, many uncertainties remain that would be best addressed by further analyses.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1235-1244
Number of pages10
JournalScience of the Total Environment
StatePublished - Oct 1 2016


  • Arsenobetaine
  • Bivalves
  • Cuttlefish
  • Inorganic arsenic
  • Risk assessment
  • Seafood

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Environmental Engineering
  • Environmental Chemistry
  • Waste Management and Disposal
  • Pollution


Dive into the research topics of 'Arsenic and arsenic species in shellfish and finfish from the western Arabian Gulf and consumer health risk assessment'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this