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Heavy metal analysis in earthworms from an abandoned mining area

Heavy metal analysis in earthworms from an abandoned mining area

Zoologischer Anzeiger 222(5-6): 306-321

This paper contributes to a study on the invertebrates found in the former mining area of Braubach (FRG). It is focusing on the distribution of Pb in earthworms. The contents of Pb, Cd, Fe, and Ca of different regions of their bodies were determined by atomic absorption spectroscopy. According to histochemical tests Pb absorbed by the epithelium of the first half of the intestine and is distributed through the body by the coelomic fluid. Considerable amounts of Pb are found in the chloragosomes, and along the coelothelia. Certain intramuscular septa also contain significant amounts of Pb, which may be a consequence of overflowing chloragocyte storage. There is always a striking affinity of Pb to tissues of mesodermal origin. Pb seems to be excreted via the nephridia and the dorsal coelopore. Loss from the chloragog tissue is slow and takes many weeks.

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