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Organoarsenicals in Seafood: Occurrence, Dietary Exposure, Toxicity, and Risk Assessment Considerations − A Review



Caleb Luvonga, Catherine A. Rimmer, Lee L. Yu, Sang B. Lee


Diet, especially seafood, is the main source of arsenic exposure for humans. Total arsenic content provides limited information for evaluation of the toxicological implications of arsenic intake, which has impeded progress in the establishment of regulatory limits for arsenic in food. Toxicity studies are mainly based on inorganic arsenic, which is a well- characterized non-threshold category 1 carcinogen and arsenobetaine the main organoarsenical that is considered benign. The scarcity of toxicity data for organoarsenicals, the main arsenic species in seafood, has sometimes led to the assumption of their non-toxicity. However, recent toxicokinetic studies show that some organoarsenicals are bioaccessible and cytotoxic with demonstrated toxicities like that of pernicious trivalent inorganic arsenic (iAsIII), which underpins the need for speciation analysis. The need to investigate and compare the bioavailability, metabolic transformation, and clearance from the body of organoarsenicals with well-known effects of inorganic arsenic and arsenobetaine is apparent. This review gives an overview of the occurrence, human exposure assessment and toxicity associated with arsenic in seafood.
Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry


Arsenic, Speciation analysis, Toxicity, Carcinogen, Regulation, Seafood, Organoarsenicals


Luvonga, C. , Rimmer, C. , Yu, L. and Lee, S. (2020), Organoarsenicals in Seafood: Occurrence, Dietary Exposure, Toxicity, and Risk Assessment Considerations − A Review, Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry, [online], (Accessed July 14, 2024)


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Created January 8, 2020, Updated February 12, 2020