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Chemosphere. 2005 May;59(8):1113-24.

Interannual patterns of variation in concentrations of trace elements in arms of Octopus vulgaris.

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Ciencias Exactas e Tecnologicas, Universidade Aberta, Rua Escola Politecnica, 147 1269-001 Lisbon, Portugal.


Concentrations of essential (copper, iron, manganese, selenium, and zinc) and non-essential (arsenic, cadmium, mercury, and lead) trace elements were measured in arms of Octopus vulgaris. The cephalopods were sampled from commercial fishery landings at two sites on the Portuguese coast in spring 2002 and 2003. Mercury was determined using an Advanced Mercury Analyser Spectrophotometer (AMAS) and other trace elements were measured using inductively coupled plasma-atomic emission spectrometry (ICP-AES). Since high levels of arsenic were detected, identification of the forms present was carried out using high performance liquid chromatography (HPLC) followed by ICP-MS. Mean concentrations of trace elements analysed were in the following order: As > Zn > Fe > Cu >> Cd > Pb > Se > Mn >> Hg. The results of speciation of arsenic demonstrate that virtually all arsenic was in the arsenobetaine form, which is the less toxic form. The concentrations of several trace elements were generally high in samples from Viana in 2002. Cadmium concentrations were above the legal limit for human consumption in samples from Viana in 2002 and two of these animals also had lead concentrations that exceeded legal limits. Mercury appeared in all samples but levels were within legally defined safe limits. No relationship was detected between trace element concentrations and size or maturity of octopus.

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