Risk assessments of human exposure to bioaccessible phthalate esters through market fish consumption

Zhang Cheng, Xiang Ping Nie, Hong Sheng Wang, Ming Hung WONG*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal articlepeer-review

137 Citations (Scopus)


The bioaccessibility of phthalate esters in 20 fish species collected from Hong Kong market was evaluated using an in vitro gastrointestinal model. The ∑phthalate ester concentration detected in fresh water fish ranged from 1.66 to 3.14μg/g wet weight (ww) and in marine fish ranged from 1.57 to 7.10μg/g ww, respectively. di-2-Ethylhexyl phthalate (DEHP) and di-n-butyl phthalate (DBP) were the predominant compounds in both freshwater fish and marine fish. The digestible concentrations of phthalate esters ranged from 0.20 to 1.23μg/g ww (mean 0.35μg/g ww), and account for 2.44 to 45.5% (mean 16.8%) for raw concentrations of phthalate esters. In the present study, the accumulation ratio Rnn value of all phthalate esters was greater than 1 except for diisobutyl phthalate (DIBP), DBP and di-n-hexyl phthalate (DHP), suggesting that these phthalate esters could be accumulated during gastrointestinal digestion. Based on this health risk assessment, most of fish species were considered safe for consumption, however Hong Kong residents should take caution when consuming Mud carp and Bighead carp.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)75-80
Number of pages6
JournalEnvironment International
Publication statusPublished - Jul 2013

Scopus Subject Areas

  • Environmental Science(all)

User-Defined Keywords

  • Bioaccessibility
  • Fish muscle
  • Hong Kong
  • Phthalate esters
  • Risk assessment


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