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Ecología en Bolivia

Print version ISSN 1605-2528On-line version ISSN 2075-5023


MOLINA, Carlos I.; IBANEZ, Carla  and  GIBON, François-Marie. Biomagnification process of heavy metals of a hiperhaline lake (Poopó, Oruro, Bolivia): risks to consumer health. Ecología en Bolivia [online]. 2012, vol.47, n.2, pp.99-118. ISSN 1605-2528.

Heavy metal concentration (cadmium, mercury, lead, zinc, and arsenicmetalloid) ininvertebrates and fishes of the Poopó lake (Bolivia) were analyzed. For fish species (Odonthestes bonariensis and Orestias agassizii) the head, muscles, viscera and the entire organism were evaluated. Zinc concentrations in invertebrates and fishes were higher in comparison to the other elements. Arsenic ranked the second in invertebrates with concentrations superior to 10 mg/kg, whereas in fishes showed values below the limit of detection (<0.20 mg/kg). Given the importance of invertebrates in fish diet, this data shows that the arsenic is biodiluted in the food chain. Lead concentrations were generally below the limit of detection (<0.56 mg/kg), but due to a remarkably high record that few times was found, it may reflect a potential human health problem. Cadmium tends to biomagnificate, but apparently it highly depends on the ecosystem and biological species consumed. We clearly proved the biomagnification in the Poopó lake. Arsenic and zinc concentrations do not reflected hazards to fish consumption. In contrast, cadmium concentrations showed a risk for fish consumption. Therefore, we propose the exclusive consumption of fish muscle, because they showed lower values compared to those found in heads and viscera.

Keywords : Biomagnification; Fishes; Heavy metals; Invertebrates; Poopó lake.

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