Determining the bioaccumulation of 9 metals in aquatic invertebrates in mining areas | 7/13/2018 | Staff
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A study conducted by the UPV/EHU's Animal Ecotoxicity and Biodiversity Group in collaboration with the University of Vigo has proposed an ecological threshold concentration of 9 metals for 10 taxa of aquatic macroinvertebrates from clean sites in the Nalón river basin (Asturias). This is the first step toward incorporating into river management plans quality criteria relating to the bioaccumulation of hazardous substances, as required by the EU.

The European Union has set the deadline of 2021 for the development of Environmental Quality Standards and, in particular, for determining the threshold tissue concentration of hazardous chemical substances that can be tolerated by aquatic organisms and which pose a low risk for the preservation of their populations.

Study - Areas - Asturias - Animal - Ecotoxicity

A study conducted in mining areas in Asturias by the Animal Ecotoxicity and Biodiversity group led by Dr. Pilar Rodriguez, through collaboration between the Department of Zoology and Animal Cellular Biology and that of Genetics, Physical Anthropology and Animal Physiology of the UPV/EHU's Faculty of Science and Technology, and the Limnology Laboratory at the University of Vigo has enabled progress to be made in this field and has proposed the ecological threshold concentration for seven metals (cadmium, chromium, copper, mercury, nickel, lead and zinc) and two metalloids (arsenic and selenium). The study included a number of non-contaminated localities belonging to the reference network of the Nalón river basin as well as other highly contaminated ones. This is a basin with a long history of mining activities due to the high levels of metals naturally occurring in its rocks. "We selected this area because it is one of the areas in the Cantabrian region where the aquatic communities have a major problem of metal exposure," explained Dr. Pilar Rodríguez, member of the UPV/EHU's Department of Zoology and Animal Cellular Biology.

Specifically, the study proposes the ecological threshold concentration for...
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