Concentrations of lead, cadmium, mercury and copper in mushrooms in the vicinity of a lead smelter

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The concentrations of four heavy metals in 149 samples of mushroom fruiting bodies representing 11 species, mainly all edible, were determined by atomic absorption spectroscopy. The mushrooms were collected up to a distance of 6 km from a lead smelter in central Bohemia (Czechoslovakia) in operation since 1786. Lead was accumulated extensively by Lepiota rhacodes and Lepista nuda. Among other species, significant accumulation was found up to a distance of 1 km from the source. Concentrations of > 100 mg kg-1 dry matter were often determined. The safe limit of 5 mg kg-1 dry matter was exceeded in most samples collected at distances of up to 6 km from the source. Concentrations of cadmium in the polluted area were generally significantly higher than in other parts of Bohemia. Cadmium was extensively accumulated by the toxic Amanita muscaria, but also by the edible Boletus edulis and Amanita rubescens, with mean values 28.6, 15.2 and 12.3 mg Cd kg-1 dry matter, respectively. The Czechoslovakian statutory limit is 0.5 mg Cd kg-1 dry matter. Statistically significant linear correlations between lead and cadmium concentrations were found only for Boletus edulis and Paxillus involutus. Mercury was accumulated by Lepista nuda and Lepiota rhacodes; mean values of 11.9 and 6.5 mg Hg kg-1 dry matter, respectively, were found. Concentrations of mercury in most species from the study area were higher than in those from other parts of Bohemia. Lepiota rhacodes and Lepista nuda also accumulated copper extensively with mean values of 280 and 193 mg Cu kg-1 dry matter, respectively. © 1991.




Kalač, P., Burda, j., & Stašková, I. (1991). Concentrations of lead, cadmium, mercury and copper in mushrooms in the vicinity of a lead smelter. Science of the Total Environment, The, 105(C), 109–119.

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