Lead and other heavy metals (cadmium and mercury) accumulation in bivalve mollusks (Mytilus galloprovincialis, Ruditapes spp. and Crassostrea gigas) sampled in Sardinia in 2008-2012

  • Pierluigi Piras | pirasp@tiscali.it Scuola di Dottorato di Ricerca in Produzione e Sicurezza degli Alimenti di Origine Animale, Dipartimento di Biologia Animale, Università degli Studi di Sassari, Italy.
  • Giannina Chessa Istituto Zooprofilattico Sperimentale della Sardegna G. Pegreffi, Sassari, Italy.
  • Maurizio Cossu Istituto Zooprofilattico Sperimentale della Sardegna G. Pegreffi, Sassari, Italy.
  • Gianuario Fiori Istituto Zooprofilattico Sperimentale della Sardegna G. Pegreffi, Sassari, Italy.
  • Patrizia Piras Istituto Zooprofilattico Sperimentale della Sardegna G. Pegreffi, Sassari, Italy.
  • Giuseppe Ledda Istituto Zooprofilattico Sperimentale della Sardegna G. Pegreffi, Sassari, Italy.

Abstract

The Sardinian shellfish farming, like the national, is mainly focused on mussels and carpet-shell clams, still less on cupped oyster farming. After Olbia’s Gulf, various lagoon areas along the coastal perimeter have been interested to shellfish farming. They are transitional waters, whose state of pollution must be evaluated both as ecosystem’s health and as directly/indirectly human risk. This also applies to heavy metals such as lead, cadmium and mercury, arising both from anthropogenic that geological-natural activity. The aim of the present study is to investigate the variability of the concentrations of these metals in different mollusks to make a comparative assessment, detect trends (over the five-years or cyclicrecurring) and identify hot spots. In 2008- 2012, 984 samples have been analysed by inductively coupled plasma mass spectrometry technique. Of them, 599 in pre-marketing (for classification of production areas or their monitoring) and the remaining during marketing. The difference between the average levels of the three metals in the different mollusks species was statistically significant, with Pb>Cd>Hg, and there was evidence of a gradual downward trend, albeit moderate, in the contamination levels, with a significant seasonality in concentrations levels, of lead in particular. Also comparisons between the bio-monitored coastal areas were statistically different. Since the samples were representative of the entire production of bivalve mollusks in Sardinia and the contamination allowable limits have never been exceeded in the products marketed, it can be concluded that these products are safe, pointing out that maintenance of monitoring/surveillance plans provides useful information species-dependent, site-specific and temporal trends.

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Published
2013-12-31
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Keywords:
Lead, Heavy metal, Bioaccumulation, Shellfish, Food safety
Statistics
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How to Cite
Piras, P., Chessa, G., Cossu, M., Fiori, G., Piras, P., & Ledda, G. (2013). Lead and other heavy metals (cadmium and mercury) accumulation in bivalve mollusks (Mytilus galloprovincialis, Ruditapes spp. and Crassostrea gigas) sampled in Sardinia in 2008-2012. Italian Journal of Food Safety, 2(3), e49. https://doi.org/10.4081/ijfs.2013.1627