Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Study shows transfer of heavy metals from water to fish in Huelva estuary

18.06.2009
A team of researchers from the University of Cadiz has confirmed that zinc, copper and lead are present at high levels in the water and sediments of the Huelva estuary, and have studied how some of these heavy metals are transferred to fish. The study shows that zinc, cadmium and copper accumulate in the body tissues of sole and gilthead bream.

"We found positive correlations between the levels of some metals in the waters of the Huelva estuary and those in the tissues of gilthead bream (Sparus aurata) and sole (Solea senegalensis)", Mª Dolores Galindo, a professor of Analytical Chemistry at the University of Cadiz and the head of the study published recently in the Journal of Hazardous Materials, tells SINC.

The researchers focused their analysis on the "bioavailabilty" of heavy metals in coastal waters and their impact on commercially important species, such as the two studied. The results showed elevated levels of zinc, copper and lead, both in water and sediment, although the most "available" elements for the fish were zinc, cadmium and copper.

"Numerous laboratory studies have looked at the effects of pollutants on aquatic organisms, but our research observes this phenomenon in the natural environment, in one of the few estuaries in Spain with high levels of metals contamination", says Galindo. The Huelva estuary and the Tinto and Odiel rivers which flow into it are all affected by discharges from industries and historic mining activities locally. The area, in which fishing is forbidden, is globally significant in terms of its levels of heavy metal contamination.

For this reason it is an ideal area for scientists in which to examine the effects of contaminants on the environment. The researchers, who are working on developing environmental quality criteria, studied the levels of copper, cadmium, lead and arsenic on three types of samples – water, sediments and fish tissue.

By using a statistical index (Pearson coefficient), the scientists found a link between the presence of zinc and cadmium in the water and in the tissues of the fish, above all in the gilthead bream, a species that lives in open water. There was a lower correlation in the case of the sole, which tends to be a bottom dweller, although it also contained lead. Zinc and cadmium appeared in the gills and muscles, but above all in the liver, where copper was also detected at high concentrations.

This research forms part of the project "Production and validation of environmental quality criteria in sensitive coastal ecosystems" financed by the former Ministry of Education and Science, and which also includes analysis of the levels of organic pollutants in the Huelva estuary, as well as the "hystopathological" damage to fish caused by this contamination.

The central government of Spain and the regional government of Andalusia have been developing pollution reduction policies for the estuary since 1997. The measures adopted have included waste water treatment, metal retention processes, waste treatment and reduction of discharges.

References: Juan J. Vicente-Martorell, María D. Galindo-Riaño, Manuel García-Vargas, María D. Granado-Castro. "Bioavailability of heavy metals monitoring water, sediments and fish species from a polluted estuary". Journal of Hazardous Materials 162 (2-3): 823-836, 2009.

SINC | EurekAlert!
Further information:
http://www.plataformasinc.es

More articles from Ecology, The Environment and Conservation:

nachricht Successful calculation of human and natural influence on cloud formation
04.11.2016 | Goethe-Universität Frankfurt am Main

nachricht Invasive Insects Cost the World Billions Per Year
04.10.2016 | University of Adelaide

All articles from Ecology, The Environment and Conservation >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: Novel silicon etching technique crafts 3-D gradient refractive index micro-optics

A multi-institutional research collaboration has created a novel approach for fabricating three-dimensional micro-optics through the shape-defined formation of porous silicon (PSi), with broad impacts in integrated optoelectronics, imaging, and photovoltaics.

Working with colleagues at Stanford and The Dow Chemical Company, researchers at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign fabricated 3-D birefringent...

Im Focus: Quantum Particles Form Droplets

In experiments with magnetic atoms conducted at extremely low temperatures, scientists have demonstrated a unique phase of matter: The atoms form a new type of quantum liquid or quantum droplet state. These so called quantum droplets may preserve their form in absence of external confinement because of quantum effects. The joint team of experimental physicists from Innsbruck and theoretical physicists from Hannover report on their findings in the journal Physical Review X.

“Our Quantum droplets are in the gas phase but they still drop like a rock,” explains experimental physicist Francesca Ferlaino when talking about the...

Im Focus: MADMAX: Max Planck Institute for Physics takes up axion research

The Max Planck Institute for Physics (MPP) is opening up a new research field. A workshop from November 21 - 22, 2016 will mark the start of activities for an innovative axion experiment. Axions are still only purely hypothetical particles. Their detection could solve two fundamental problems in particle physics: What dark matter consists of and why it has not yet been possible to directly observe a CP violation for the strong interaction.

The “MADMAX” project is the MPP’s commitment to axion research. Axions are so far only a theoretical prediction and are difficult to detect: on the one hand,...

Im Focus: Molecules change shape when wet

Broadband rotational spectroscopy unravels structural reshaping of isolated molecules in the gas phase to accommodate water

In two recent publications in the Journal of Chemical Physics and in the Journal of Physical Chemistry Letters, researchers around Melanie Schnell from the Max...

Im Focus: Fraunhofer ISE Develops Highly Compact, High Frequency DC/DC Converter for Aviation

The efficiency of power electronic systems is not solely dependent on electrical efficiency but also on weight, for example, in mobile systems. When the weight of relevant components and devices in airplanes, for instance, is reduced, fuel savings can be achieved and correspondingly greenhouse gas emissions decreased. New materials and components based on gallium nitride (GaN) can help to reduce weight and increase the efficiency. With these new materials, power electronic switches can be operated at higher switching frequency, resulting in higher power density and lower material costs.

Researchers at the Fraunhofer Institute for Solar Energy Systems ISE together with partners have investigated how these materials can be used to make power...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

ICTM Conference 2017: Production technology for turbomachine manufacturing of the future

16.11.2016 | Event News

Innovation Day Laser Technology – Laser Additive Manufacturing

01.11.2016 | Event News

#IC2S2: When Social Science meets Computer Science - GESIS will host the IC2S2 conference 2017

14.10.2016 | Event News

 
Latest News

UTSA study describes new minimally invasive device to treat cancer and other illnesses

02.12.2016 | Medical Engineering

Plasma-zapping process could yield trans fat-free soybean oil product

02.12.2016 | Agricultural and Forestry Science

What do Netflix, Google and planetary systems have in common?

02.12.2016 | Physics and Astronomy

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>