Dietary exposure to potentially toxic elements through sushi consumption in Catalonia, Spain

Neus González, Eudald Correig, Isa Marmelo, António Marques, Rasmus la Cour, Jens Jørgen Sloth, Martí Nadal, Montse Marquès*, José L. Domingo

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal articleResearchpeer-review


Although sushi is considered as a healthy food, it can also be a route of exposure to chemical contaminants such as potentially toxic trace elements. In this study, we analysed the concentration of Cd, I, Ni, Pb and total Hg, as well as iAs and MeHg in sushi samples. Iodine levels were higher in samples containing seaweed, while iAs concentrations were greater in rice-containing sushi. In turn, total Hg and MeHg were significantly higher in sushi samples with tuna. Health risks of sushi consumption were assessed for three population groups: children, adolescents and adults. Considering an average intake of 8 sushi pieces for adults and adolescents, and 3 sushi pieces for children, the estimated exposure to MeHg by adolescents exceeded the tolerable daily intake set by EFSA, while MeHg intake by children and adults was below, but close to that threshold. A relatively high daily exposure of Ni and Pb was also found, especially for adolescents. Since this study focused only on the consumption of sushi, the contribution of other food groups to the overall dietary exposure should not be disregarded. It might lead to an exposure to MeHg and other trace elements above the health-based guideline values.

Original languageEnglish
Article number112285
JournalFood and Chemical Toxicology
Publication statusPublished - 2021

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
This work was supported by Agency for Management of University and Research grants (AGAUR, Generalitat de Catalunya, Spain) through SGR 2017-SGR-245. Isa Marmelo thanks European Union's Horizon 2020 for the research grant of the project SEAFOOD TOMORROW (grant agreement nº 773400).

Publisher Copyright:
© 2021 The Author(s)


  • Inorganic arsenic
  • Methylmercury
  • Risk assessment
  • sushi
  • Trace elements

Fingerprint Dive into the research topics of 'Dietary exposure to potentially toxic elements through sushi consumption in Catalonia, Spain'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this