U.S. mussel watch: 1977-1978 results on trace metals and radionuclides




Goldberg, E.D.
Koide, M.
Hodge, V.
Flegal, A.R.
Martin, J.

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Academic Press in association with the Estuarine and Brackish-water Sciences Association


The results of the U.S. Mussel Watch Monitoring Program for the period 1976-1978 for trace metals and artificial radionuclides in bivalves are presented. The substances analysed included Ag, Cu, Zn, Cd, Ni, Pb, 238Pu, 239+240Pu and 241Am. The analyses of organic substances will be presented elsewhere. The concentrations of these substances in the bivalves may reflect upwelling processes, anthropogenic inputs or natural levels. Off the California coast, mussels show markedly elevated Pu and Cd concentrations in coastal areas adjacent to the most intensive upwelling zones. Elevated levels of Pb, for example, are found in organisms living adjacent to highly urbanized places. The general patterns of distribution repeat themselves year after year at a given site. Thus, it is concluded that annual monitoring activities may not be necessary and that a frequency of sampling of several or so years may be more appropriate to identify pollution problems. Finally, national or regional baselines for metal concentrations in bivalves from unpolluted waters are proposed. National baselines for Pb in the west coast mussels of 1+0 parts 10-6 and for Ag in east coast mussels of 0+05 parts 10-6 are suggested


pgs. 69-93


trace metals, mussels, radioisotopes