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Mar Pollut Bull. 2012 Jun;64(6):1163-71. doi: 10.1016/j.marpolbul.2012.03.023. Epub 2012 Apr 30.

Role of living environments in the accumulation characteristics of heavy metals in fishes and crabs in the Yangtze River Estuary, China.

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State Key Joint Laboratory of Environment Simulation and Pollution Control, School of Environment, Beijing Normal University, Beijing 100875, China.


Correlation of heavy metals in the tissues of typical organisms (i.e., fishes and crabs) and those in their living environments (i.e., surface water, bottom water, and sediment) in Yangtze River Estuary has been qualitatively and quantitatively analyzed. Metal levels followed the trend: sediments > Eriocheir sinensis > Eriocheir leptognathus > benthic fish > pelagic fish > bottom water > surface water. Tissues in fishes and crabs of different species and sizes had diverse metal bioaccumulation characteristics, which was significantly affected by environment factors and their living habits. Metal levels in legs of crabs, and heads and skins of fishes showed significant correlations with those in their living environments. Collichthys lucidus is an effective bioindicator for assessing metal levels in water. No significant health risk was identified by the estimated daily intake and target hazard quotients analyses.

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