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Copper and zinc, but not other priority toxic metals, pose risks to native aquatic species in a large urban lake in Eastern China

Fu, Zhiyou, Wu, Fengchang, Chen, Lulu, Xu, Bingbing, Feng, Chenglian, Bai, Yingchen, Liao, Haiqing, Sun, Siyang, Giesy, John P., Guo, Wenjing
Environmental pollution 2016 v.219 pp. 1069-1076
adverse effects, arsenic, cadmium, chromium, copper, fish, humans, lakes, lead, mercury, nickel, pollution, probability distribution, risk, surface water, toxicity, zinc, China
Over the past 20 years, global production of copper (Cu) and zinc (Zn) rank in the top three compared to other metals such as Pb, Cd, Cr, Ni, As and Hg. However, due to the potential for exposure and toxicity to humans, more attention of environmental pollution was paid to other metals such as Cd and Hg. Aquatic organisms are sensitive to Cu and Zn. Even though internal concentrations of these required elements are homeostatically controlled, toxic effects can occur at the fish gill surface. In this work, concentrations in surface waters and toxic effects of Cu, Zn, Ni, Cr, Pb, Cd, As, Hg were determined and risk of various metals in Tai Lake, China were evaluated using both risk quotients and joint probability distributions. Two transition metals, Cu and Zn posed the greatest risks to aquatic organisms while measured concentrations of other metals were less than thresholds for adverse effects. Approximately 99.9% and 50.7% of the aquatic organisms were predicted to be affected by Cu and Zn in surface water of Tai Lake respectively. Our results highlight ecological risks of Cu and Zn in water of a typical, large, urban lake in Eastern China, which was ignored in the past.