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Environ Monit Assess. 2010 Jan;160(1-4):47-59. doi: 10.1007/s10661-008-0656-0.

Trace metal levels in Prochilodus lineatus collected from the La Plata River, Argentina.

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Departamento de Química Biológica, Facultad de Ciencias Exactas y Naturales, Toxicología y Química Legal, Universidad de Buenos Aires, 4 degrees piso, Pabellón II, Ciudad Universitaria, 1428, Buenos Aires, Argentina.


Most of the industrial, urban and sewage discharges are released into the La Plata River, Argentina without any previous treatment. However, few works have investigated the extent of metal contamination. The aim of this study was to assess the levels of cadmium, copper, lead and zinc in liver and gills of adults Prochilodus lineatus collected from three sampling stations along the coast of the La Plata River: Berazategui, Berisso and Atalaya (from north to south). Samplings were performed during 2002 and 2004. Berazategui and Berisso were located nearby the main ducts that discharge the urban and domestic waste disposal from the cities of Buenos Aires and La Plata, respectively. The third station, Atalaya, was free of sewage discharges. Levels of cadmium and copper in liver were always higher than those found in gills. Instead, for lead and zinc, high levels were observed either in liver or gills, depending on the sampling station and the sampling period. In both tissues, the concentrations of metals did not differ significantly between male and female fish. In liver samples, the concentrations of cadmium, copper and zinc tended to increase from north to south. Instead, the levels of lead followed an opposite pattern. No clear tendencies were observed in gill samples. The data may be useful as reference levels of metal contaminants in P. lineatus, the most important fish species in the La Plata River system.

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