Frank Riget, Rune Dietz and Poul Johansen
Zinc, cadmium, mercury and selenium in Greenland fish

Concentrations of zinc, cadmium, mercury and selenium in muscle, liver, kidney, spleen and bone in marine fish from Greenland are presented. Tissue differences are apparent for all elements. Except for mercury, higher concentrations are found in liver and kidney than in muscle. In general, the mercury concentration is positively correlated with fish length while selenium concentration shows a negative correlation. No such correlations are evident for cadmium and zinc.

Significant differences in heavy metals levels are often found between geographic locations. Although there is tendency for higher concentrations of cadmium, mercury and selenium in fish from North West Greenland compared to fish from other areas of Greenland, the geographical variation is not consistent. The results indicate that high natural year to year variations in element levels (up to 3 times) occur in fish. Mercury and cadmium concentrations show relatively strong inter-organ correlations, whereas this is not the case for selenium and zinc. Zinc and cadmium show a high degree of association in all tissues.