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Chemosphere. 2001 Jul;44(2):263-70.

Use of zebra mussel (Dreissena polymorpha) to assess trace metal contamination in the largest Italian subalpine lakes.

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Water Research Institute, IRSA-CNR, Brugherio, Italy.


Trace metal (Cd, Co, Cr, Cu, Hg, Ni, Pb and Zn) contamination was evaluated in zebra mussels from the lakes Maggiore, Lugano, Como, Iseo and Garda, which are located in the most highly populated and industrialised area in Italy. Zebra mussels from Lake Maggiore contained the highest concentrations (3.44, 1.51, 4.97, 0.158, 5.87, 346 microg g(-1) for Cd, Co, Cr, Hg, Pb, Zn, respectively) of all metals analysed except Cu and Ni. The lowest levels of most metals were in animals from Garda and Lugano (0.78 and 0.60 microg g(-1) for Cd, 2.87 and 2.03 microg g(-1) for Cr, 0.065 and 0.049 microg g(-1) for Hg, 12.1 and 11.9 microg g(-1) for Ni, 1.96 and 2.46 microg g(-1) for Pb, 158 and 163 microg g(-1) for Zn). The most contaminated sites and possible local sources of metals were identified for each lake, and the lakes classified into quality classes concerning metal pollution.

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