Determination of Heavy Metals (Pb, Cd, As and Hg) in Black Sea Grey Mullet (Mugil cephalus)

M. Stancheva1, L. Makedonski1 and E. Petrova2
1 Medical University, Department of Chemistry, BG – 9002 Varna, Bulgaria
2 Institute of Fish Resources, BG – 9000 Varna, Bulgaria


Stancheva, M., L. Makedonski and E. Petrova, 2013. Determination of heavy metals (Pb, Cd, As and Hg) in Black Sea grey mullet (Mugil cephalus). Bulg. J. Agric. Sci., Supplement 1: 30–34


Gray mullet (Mugul cephalus) is commercially important marine school pelagic fast moving fish species especially during warm weather. The M. cephalus is an omnivore and usually inshore, entering estuaries and lagoons, like Varna Lake. The aim of the present study was to determine and compare heavy metal contents (Pb, Cd, As and Hg) in edible tissue and gills of grey mullet (Mugul cephalus). The fish samples were collected from two different Black sea areas – Varna Lake and Nesebar. The sample preparation was performed by acid microwave digestion with „Multiwave“ system in five stages program. Determination of As, Cd, and Pb were carried out on a Perkin Elmer Zeeman 3030 spectrometer with an HGA-600 atomizer, whereas Hg was analyzed by Milestone Direct Mercury Analyzer. Detected levels of As in the studied regions gives exceed those of other analyzed elements. The samples from both regions showed the higher levels of As in edible tissue than gills, especially from Region of Nesebar (1.1 mg/kg w.w.). The results for other heavy metals are several times lower than arsenic and were found in range 0.01–0.12 mg/kg w.w. All studied elements (except As) presented higher amounts from Varna Lake grey mullet compared with Neserbar region samples.

Key words: Heavy metals, Gray mullet, Black Sea

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