In this chapter, a little of the history of Carmen City, Mexico is addressed; this island is immersed in a Protected Natural Area and in the “Campeche Sound” an oil extraction site. Fishing natural resources were for many years the pillar of the development of the area; the most commercially important species are still shrimp, oysters and scales. Nowadays, although the volumes of capture have decreased considerably, different species of high commercial value are still extracted. The considerable development of the oil industry has brought with its economic development and a better quality of life for its inhabitants; however, the ravages of pollution, rapid population growth, and deforestation have been the unwanted factor. This chapter addresses the effects of heavy metals on human health through a risk analysis, based on the criteria of the US Environmental Protection Agency (USEPA) that was carried out for different commercial species based on carcinogenic factors and not carcinogenic; the results show that the risk from consumption of these species is “potentially dangerous” for human health, especially in those species that, due to their eating habits (mollusks, bivalves, clams) tend to bio-accumulate heavy metals, such as cadmium, which it has been considered by the International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC) as a risk factor; for this reason, the importance of periodically evaluating and monitoring oyster extraction banks, clams and, in general, all fishery products. Mexican legislation and various international legislations dictate the maximum permissible and tolerable levels of heavy metals in fishery products; the organisms considered in this study exceeded the permissible limits in copper and nickel, which represents a risk for human consumption.
Part of the book: Heavy Metals