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Mercury levels and liver pathology in feral fish living in the vicinity of a mercury cell chlor-alkali factory

AuthorsRaldúa, Demetrio; Díez Salvador, Sergi; Bayona Termens, Josep María ; Barceló, Damià
KeywordsChlor-alkali plant
Feral fish
Issue DateJan-2007
CitationChemosphere 66(7): 1217-1225 (2007)
AbstractTwenty-three barbels (Barbus graellsii), 30 bleaks (Alburnus alburnus) and 4 sediment samples were collected from four areas of the Cinca River (NE Spain), upstream and downstream of a mercury cell chlor-alkali plant. Mercury concentration in sediments downstream of the plant was about 25 times higher than the concentration upstream. Mercury levels in the muscle and liver of barbels downstream of the chlor-alkali plant were 10 and 30 times higher than those upstream. The average mercury concentration in the muscle and liver of barbels downstream of the factory was 1.48 and 1.78 mg/kg w.w., with maximal concentrations of 2.43 and 3.64 mg/kg w.w, respectively. Liver/muscle ratio of mercury was significantly higher in barbels sampled downstream of the factory. Bleak showed a similar pattern, with a significantly higher whole-body mercury concentration downstream of the chlor-alkali plant. Nevertheless, a progressive decrease in mercury concentration downstream of the impact area was found in bleak, but not in barbel. Histopathological analysis showed that fish downstream of the factory had significantly higher prevalence of liver pathologies (p<0.05). Although there are no specific histopathological markers of mercury exposure, barbels with the highest Hg levels in the liver also showed the most severe pathologies, and the processes found in these barbels were consistent with the pro-oxidant effect of heavy metals.
Description9 pages, 4 figures, 4 tables.-- PMID: 16949130 [PubMed].-- Available online Sep 1, 2006.
Publisher version (URL)http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.chemosphere.2006.07.053
Appears in Collections:(IDAEA) Artículos
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