After the Aznalcollar mine spill: Arsenic, zinc, selenium, lead and copper levels in the livers and bones of five waterfowl species

Mark Antony Taggart, J. Figuerola, A. J. Green, R. Mateo, Claire Marie Deacon, D. osborn, Andrew Alexander Meharg

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Abstract

In April 1998, a holding lagoon containing pyrite ore processing waste, failed and released 5-6 Million m(3) of highly polluting sludge and acidic water. Over 2650 ha of the internationally important Donana Natural Park became contaminated, along with <100 ha of the more pristine Donana National Park. In order to assess the affect of the spill on waterfowl from Donana, bone and liver samples from 124 individuals have been analysed for As, Pb, Cu, Zn and Se. Five species have been studied, from the Rallidae (rails), Anatini (dabbling ducks) and Aythyini (pochards) families. Geometric mean bone concentrations 2-3 months after the spill were in the order of Zn > Cu > Pb > Se > As, while liver concentrations were in the order of Zn > Cu > Se > Pb > As. Dry weight bone concentrations ranged from n.d-1.76 mg kg(-1) As, 109.4-247.6 mg kg(-1) Zn, 0.06-1.27 mg kg(-1) Se, n.d-134.11 mg kg(-1) Pb, and 2.18-8.92 mg kg(-1) Cu. Wet weight liver concentrations ranged from n.d-0.34 mg kg(-1) As, 29.8-220.1 mg kg(-1) Zn, 0.15-0.85 mg kg(-1) Se, ri.d-3.80 mg kg(-1) Pb. and 7.30-742.96 mg kg(-1) Cu. The most important factor related to the accumulation of these metals was commonly species; however, location and sex also had important effects on liver As levels, location and age affected Cu levels, while Zn and Pb were affected by age, sex and location. Birds from Natural Park areas were found to have significantly higher levels of bone Zn, Pb and Cu, and liver As and Cu than birds from National Park areas. Female birds had higher liver As, Zn and Pb than males; whilst adults appeared to have lower bone As and Zn but higher liver Pb than chicks/juveniles. Although metal concentrations were elevated in certain individuals, in the majority of birds studied, they did not reach levels widely considered to be toxic. However. it would appear that As and Cu liver levels (which may be indicative of short-medium, term pollutant exposure) were elevated in waterbirds which died in the spill contaminated Natural Park, 2-3 months after the disaster. (C) 2005 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)349-361
Number of pages12
JournalEnvironmental Research
Volume100
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2006

Keywords

  • arsenic
  • heavy metals
  • Aznalcollar
  • waterfowl
  • liver
  • bone
  • DONANA ECOLOGICAL DISASTER
  • STORKS CICONIA-CICONIA
  • SOUTH-WEST SPAIN
  • HEAVY-METALS
  • TOXIC SPILL
  • TAILING ACCIDENT
  • GENOTOXIC DAMAGE
  • PYRITE MINE
  • SW SPAIN
  • CONTAMINATION

Cite this

After the Aznalcollar mine spill: Arsenic, zinc, selenium, lead and copper levels in the livers and bones of five waterfowl species. / Taggart, Mark Antony; Figuerola, J.; Green, A. J.; Mateo, R.; Deacon, Claire Marie; osborn, D.; Meharg, Andrew Alexander.

In: Environmental Research, Vol. 100, 2006, p. 349-361.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Taggart, Mark Antony ; Figuerola, J. ; Green, A. J. ; Mateo, R. ; Deacon, Claire Marie ; osborn, D. ; Meharg, Andrew Alexander. / After the Aznalcollar mine spill: Arsenic, zinc, selenium, lead and copper levels in the livers and bones of five waterfowl species. In: Environmental Research. 2006 ; Vol. 100. pp. 349-361.
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T1 - After the Aznalcollar mine spill: Arsenic, zinc, selenium, lead and copper levels in the livers and bones of five waterfowl species

AU - Taggart, Mark Antony

AU - Figuerola, J.

AU - Green, A. J.

AU - Mateo, R.

AU - Deacon, Claire Marie

AU - osborn, D.

AU - Meharg, Andrew Alexander

PY - 2006

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N2 - In April 1998, a holding lagoon containing pyrite ore processing waste, failed and released 5-6 Million m(3) of highly polluting sludge and acidic water. Over 2650 ha of the internationally important Donana Natural Park became contaminated, along with <100 ha of the more pristine Donana National Park. In order to assess the affect of the spill on waterfowl from Donana, bone and liver samples from 124 individuals have been analysed for As, Pb, Cu, Zn and Se. Five species have been studied, from the Rallidae (rails), Anatini (dabbling ducks) and Aythyini (pochards) families. Geometric mean bone concentrations 2-3 months after the spill were in the order of Zn > Cu > Pb > Se > As, while liver concentrations were in the order of Zn > Cu > Se > Pb > As. Dry weight bone concentrations ranged from n.d-1.76 mg kg(-1) As, 109.4-247.6 mg kg(-1) Zn, 0.06-1.27 mg kg(-1) Se, n.d-134.11 mg kg(-1) Pb, and 2.18-8.92 mg kg(-1) Cu. Wet weight liver concentrations ranged from n.d-0.34 mg kg(-1) As, 29.8-220.1 mg kg(-1) Zn, 0.15-0.85 mg kg(-1) Se, ri.d-3.80 mg kg(-1) Pb. and 7.30-742.96 mg kg(-1) Cu. The most important factor related to the accumulation of these metals was commonly species; however, location and sex also had important effects on liver As levels, location and age affected Cu levels, while Zn and Pb were affected by age, sex and location. Birds from Natural Park areas were found to have significantly higher levels of bone Zn, Pb and Cu, and liver As and Cu than birds from National Park areas. Female birds had higher liver As, Zn and Pb than males; whilst adults appeared to have lower bone As and Zn but higher liver Pb than chicks/juveniles. Although metal concentrations were elevated in certain individuals, in the majority of birds studied, they did not reach levels widely considered to be toxic. However. it would appear that As and Cu liver levels (which may be indicative of short-medium, term pollutant exposure) were elevated in waterbirds which died in the spill contaminated Natural Park, 2-3 months after the disaster. (C) 2005 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

AB - In April 1998, a holding lagoon containing pyrite ore processing waste, failed and released 5-6 Million m(3) of highly polluting sludge and acidic water. Over 2650 ha of the internationally important Donana Natural Park became contaminated, along with <100 ha of the more pristine Donana National Park. In order to assess the affect of the spill on waterfowl from Donana, bone and liver samples from 124 individuals have been analysed for As, Pb, Cu, Zn and Se. Five species have been studied, from the Rallidae (rails), Anatini (dabbling ducks) and Aythyini (pochards) families. Geometric mean bone concentrations 2-3 months after the spill were in the order of Zn > Cu > Pb > Se > As, while liver concentrations were in the order of Zn > Cu > Se > Pb > As. Dry weight bone concentrations ranged from n.d-1.76 mg kg(-1) As, 109.4-247.6 mg kg(-1) Zn, 0.06-1.27 mg kg(-1) Se, n.d-134.11 mg kg(-1) Pb, and 2.18-8.92 mg kg(-1) Cu. Wet weight liver concentrations ranged from n.d-0.34 mg kg(-1) As, 29.8-220.1 mg kg(-1) Zn, 0.15-0.85 mg kg(-1) Se, ri.d-3.80 mg kg(-1) Pb. and 7.30-742.96 mg kg(-1) Cu. The most important factor related to the accumulation of these metals was commonly species; however, location and sex also had important effects on liver As levels, location and age affected Cu levels, while Zn and Pb were affected by age, sex and location. Birds from Natural Park areas were found to have significantly higher levels of bone Zn, Pb and Cu, and liver As and Cu than birds from National Park areas. Female birds had higher liver As, Zn and Pb than males; whilst adults appeared to have lower bone As and Zn but higher liver Pb than chicks/juveniles. Although metal concentrations were elevated in certain individuals, in the majority of birds studied, they did not reach levels widely considered to be toxic. However. it would appear that As and Cu liver levels (which may be indicative of short-medium, term pollutant exposure) were elevated in waterbirds which died in the spill contaminated Natural Park, 2-3 months after the disaster. (C) 2005 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

KW - arsenic

KW - heavy metals

KW - Aznalcollar

KW - waterfowl

KW - liver

KW - bone

KW - DONANA ECOLOGICAL DISASTER

KW - STORKS CICONIA-CICONIA

KW - SOUTH-WEST SPAIN

KW - HEAVY-METALS

KW - TOXIC SPILL

KW - TAILING ACCIDENT

KW - GENOTOXIC DAMAGE

KW - PYRITE MINE

KW - SW SPAIN

KW - CONTAMINATION

U2 - 10.1016/j.envres.2005.07.009

DO - 10.1016/j.envres.2005.07.009

M3 - Article

VL - 100

SP - 349

EP - 361

JO - Environmental Research

JF - Environmental Research

SN - 0013-9351

ER -