Copper intake and health threat by consuming seafood from copper‐contaminated coastal environments in taiwan

Bor-Cheng Han, W. L. Jeng, T. C. Hung, M. S. Jeng

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

35 Citations (Scopus)


The purpose of this paper is to describe the impact of copper pollution on the main aquaculture coast of Taiwan and the potential risk from eating the green oysters cultured along the polluted coast. Our data show that the highest average concentration of copper (2,194 ± 212 μg/g) in oysters was observed in the Erhjin Chi estuary from 1986 to 1990 (after the 'green oyster' incident). The copper concentration in both the seawater and the sediment collected along the Erhjin Chi estuary was also the highest in all sampling locations. Copper concentration in oysters collected from Erhjin Chi, Hsiangshan, and Anping from 1988 to 1990 was, respectively, 61, 29, and 22 times higher than that of 10 years ago. The potential risk from consuming oysters is relatively higher than that of other seafoods due to the high bioaccumulation of oysters. The oysters in the Erhjin Chi estuary had an average concentration of copper of 3,075 ± 826 μg/g during the past three years (1988-1990). The average copper intake from oysters for an adult with 70 kg body weight was 12.6 mg/d. The estimate indicated that the average copper intake from the oysters for female individuals is 14 times more than that of international limits. Based on the average value, long-term intake of copper through consumption of oysters cultured along the Erhjin Chi estuary could be critical, especially for some high-risk groups.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)775-780
Number of pages6
JournalEnvironmental Toxicology and Chemistry
Issue number5
Publication statusPublished - May 1994


  • Copper pollution
  • Health
  • Oyster
  • Seafood

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Environmental Science
  • Environmental Chemistry
  • Toxicology
  • Health, Toxicology and Mutagenesis


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