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Brazilian Journal of Biology

versión impresa ISSN 1519-6984


CHIBA, WAC; PASSERINI, MD  y  TUNDISI, JG. Metal contamination in benthic macroinvertebrates in a sub-basin in the southeast of Brazil. Braz. J. Biol. [online]. 2011, vol.71, n.2, pp.391-399. ISSN 1519-6984.

Benthic macroinvertebrates have many useful properties that make possible the use of these organisms as sentinel in biomonitoring programmes in freshwater. Combined with the characteristics of the water and sediment, benthic macroinvertebrates are potential indicators of environmental quality. Thus, the spatial occurrence of potentially toxic metals (Al, Zn, Cr, Co, Cu, Fe, Mn and Ni) in the water, sediment and benthic macroinvertebrates samples were investigated in a sub-basin in the southeast of Brazil in the city of São Carlos, São Paulo state, with the aim of verifying the metals and environment interaction with benthic communities regarding bioaccumulation. Hypothetically, there can be contamination by metals in the aquatic environment in the city due to lack of industrial effluent treatment. All samples were analysed by the USEPA adapted method and processed in an atomic absorption spectrophotometer. The sub-basin studied is contaminated by toxic metals in superficial water, sediment and benthic macroinvertebrates. The Bioaccumulation Factor showed a tendency for metal bioaccumulation by the benthic organisms for almost all the metal species. The results show a potential human and ecosystem health risk, contributing to metal contamination studies in aquatic environments in urban areas.

Palabras clave : heavy metal; benthic macroinvertebrates; water pollution; sediment pollution.

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