The present study was undertaken to investigate the possible effects of Fe and trace element exposure on hepatic levels of retinoids in seven fish species. Concentrations of retinoids were measured in fish collected from a coastal lagoon in Brazil that receives effluents from an iron-ore mining and processing plant. Fish from nearby coastal lagoons were also included to assess possible differences related to chemical exposure. Results indicated considerable differences in hepatic retinoid composition among the various species investigated. The most striking differences were in retinol and derivative-specific profiles and in didehydro retinol and derivative-specific profiles. The Perciformes species Geophagus brasiliensis, Tilapia rendalli, Mugil liza, and Cichla ocellaris and the Characiforme Hoplias malabaricus were characterized as retinol and derivative-specific, while the Siluriformes species Hoplosternum littorale and Rhamdia quelen were didehydro retinol and derivative-specific fish species. A negative association was observed between Al, Pb, As, and Cd and hepatic didehydro retinoid levels. Fish with higher levels of hepatic Fe, Cu, and Zn showed unexpectedly significant positive correlations with increased hepatic retinol levels. This finding, associated with the positive relationships between retinol and retinyl palmitate with lipid peroxidation, may suggest that vitamin A is mobilized from other tissues to increase hepatic antioxidant levels for protection against oxidative damage. These data show significant but dissimilar associations between trace element exposure and hepatic retinoid levels in fish species exposed to iron-ore mining and processing effluents, without apparent major impacts on fish health and condition. © 2011 SETAC.