Environmental science and pollution research international

Assessment of trace metal accumulation in native mussels (Brachidontes rodriguezii) from a South American temperate estuary.

PMID 28528504


The present work provides the first results in heavy metal bioaccumulation in the autochthonous mussel Brachidontes rodriguezii from the Bahía Blanca Estuary (Argentina), one of the most important coastal environments of South America, subjected to different anthropogenic pressure. The study is based on the detection of Cd, Cu, Pb, Mn, and Fe in mussels' soft tissue and sediments' fine fraction by means of inductively coupled plasma atomic emission spectroscopy (ICP-OES), in order to analyze the potential relationship between both components of the aquatic system. Additionally, different indices are calculated with the purpose of obtaining detailed data. The heavy metal burden in mussels varied seasonally, showing a clearer pattern for the stations located in the internal area of the estuary. Metals exhibited maximum values in summer and to a lesser extent in winter, followed by a decrease during spring. Multiple international guideline assessment allowed classifying the area as moderately polluted, including a low range for Cd and medium for Cu and Pb. Moreover, the average detected levels were within the measured ranges in other coastal areas. Regarding human health, trace metal content in mussels met the national and international standards for safe consumption.