This study aims to determine the pollution levels of nine kinds of heavy metals (As, Cd, Cu, Cr, Hg, Mn, Ni, Pb, and Zn) in Lake Shihwa, which is susceptible to the inflow of pollutants, and the levels of heavy metal exposure in its fish and shellfish. Shihwa Lake's water quality did not exceed the short-term standard for protection of marine ecosystems, but concentrations of As, Cu, Cr, Hg, Ni, and Zn exceeded the long-term standard for protection of a marine ecosystem. In comparison to findings in prior research, performed in 2010, levels of Cr, Ni, As, and Zn are now 4.1 times lower. However, when compared to Saemangeum Lake, the environment is similar to that of Lake Shihwa, Cu, Ni, Hg, Mn, and Zn were 244.4 times higher. The levels of Pb, Cd, and Hg in fish's muscles did not exceed the average values set by the marine safety standard. However, when compared to the fish from the Korean coast, the levels of heavy metals were 9.7 times higher, on average. The levels of heavy metals in fish's livers were on average 26.8 times higher than in the muscles. In the case of shellfish, the levels of Pb, Cd, and Hg did not exceed the standard values, but in comparison to the shellfish from the south coast, the levels of heavy metals were 6.2 times higher on average. In particular, Mn (153.5 times higher) from fish and Cd (14.7 times higher) from shellfish were found in high amounts, indicating a concerning level of these specific heavy metals.
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