abstract litopenaeus vannamei is the most important shrimp species in the traditional fishery of the coastal lagoons of the state of sinaloa (nw mexico), and most of the landings are consumed locally. since these lagoons receive important volumes of agricultural, industrial and urban effluents, consumption of this shrimp could pose risks to human health. the mean content of cd, cu, pb and zn determined in the hepatopancreas of shrimp from commercial landings from six lagoons of sinaloa were higher than those of the muscle. there was a weak correlation between the zn content of the two tissues (p≤0.05) and the correlations were not significant for cd, cu and pb (p>0.1). the concentrations found in the shrimp muscle were comparable or lower than those determined in commercial landings of different crustaceans from other geographic areas. according to our results the consumption of local shrimp poses no risks to human health.