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Environ Res. 2002 Oct;90(2):142-51.

Zebra mussels (Dreissena polymorpha) as indicators of freshwater contamination with lindane.

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Unité Mixte de Recherche INRA-DGER de Métabolisme et Toxicologie Comparée des Xénobiotiques, Ecole Nationale Vétérinaire de Lyon, BP 83, F-9280 Marcy l'Etoile, France.


Zebra mussels are common freshwater mollusks in many European lakes and rivers. Their abundance, wide distribution, and filtering activity make them good candidates to evaluate the contamination of freshwaters with environmental contaminants. The purpose of this work was to determine the kinetics of lindane in zebra mussels and compare laboratory results with in situ measurements. Exposure was conducted in small tanks, under controlled experimental conditions. Our results indicated that mussels accumulated lindane with a bioconcentration factor around 10. They generally reached equilibrium within 4 days. Elimination was rapid but biphasic and the terminal elimination half-life was long (> 168 h). Age of the mussels and temperature also affected the kinetics of lindane in mussels. In the Lake of Geneva, zebra mussels were sampled and showed that mussels accumulated it to significant values (up to 900 ng/g fresh weight) depending on the site and period of sampling. The in situ results, together with the laboratory exposures, showed that freshwater mussels could be used to monitor point sources of pollutants such as lindane over short periods of time (< 1 week).

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