J. Phys. IV France
Volume 107, May 2003
Page(s) 267 - 270

J. Phys. IV France
107 (2003) 267
DOI: 10.1051/jp4:20030293

Temporal and spatial bioassessment of ecological risk of Amazonian Itchyofauna associated to Hg exposure

Z.C. Castilhos1, N. Almonsy2, P.S. Souto3, L.C.C. Pereira da Silva2 and E.D. Bidone2

1  Center for Mineral Technology-CETEM, Avenida Ipê 900, llha da Cidade Universitaria, Rio de Janeiro-RJ 21941-590, Brazil
2  Fluminense Federal University
3  FCAP-Soil Sciences College of Para State

In Amazon artisan gold mining, mercury (Hg) is released to environment during its use to amalgamate the fine particles of gold. Once mercury entries in aquatic ecosystems, it might be methylated to methylmercury (MeHg). The objectives of this work were: (i) to establish and compare the dose-response relationship for Hg accumulation by Tucunaré for a contaminated and a background area; (ii) to test the DRAC methodology to proceed field sampling of fish; (iii) to conduct a temporal analysis of magnitude of mercury contamination in fish during the last decade by using DRAC methodology and (v) to investigate the relationship between hematological parameters (erythrocytes, hematocrit, leukocytes and mean corpuscular volume) and Hg exposure in fish.. Close to 100 Tucunarés were caught in the Tapajós River region. The results showed significant differences in hematological parameters and Hg concentration considering contaminated and background areas and the temporal assessment suggest increase the Hg bio-availability during last decade in Tapajos River Region. One could suggest that those hematological parameters might be used as physiological biomarkers of Hg exposure in ecological risk assessment process and that Hg used by or remaining from gold mining "garimpos" might be continuous bio-available to Amazonian biota.

© EDP Sciences 2003