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A novel approach for acid mine drainage pollution biomonitoring using rare earth elements bioaccumulated in the freshwater clam Corbicula fluminea

Bonnail, Estefanía, Pérez-López, Rafael, Sarmiento, Aguasanta M., Nieto, José Miguel, DelValls, T. Ángel
Journal of hazardous materials 2017 v.338 pp. 466-471
Corbicula fluminea, North Americans, acid mine drainage, bioaccumulation, clams, environmental monitoring, estuaries, freshwater, indicator species, oxidation, pollution, rare earth elements, risk, rivers, shale, sulfides, tissues, toxicity testing
Lanthanide series have been used as a record of the water–rock interaction and work as a tool for identifying impacts of acid mine drainage (lixiviate residue derived from sulphide oxidation). The application of North-American Shale Composite-normalized rare earth elements patterns to these minority elements allows determining the origin of the contamination. In the current study, geochemical patterns were applied to rare earth elements bioaccumulated in the soft tissue of the freshwater clam Corbicula fluminea after exposure to different acid mine drainage contaminated environments.Results show significant bioaccumulation of rare earth elements in soft tissue of the clam after 14 days of exposure to acid mine drainage contaminated sediment (ΣREE=1.3–8μg/gdw). Furthermore, it was possible to biomonitor different degrees of contamination based on rare earth elements in tissue. The pattern of this type of contamination describes a particular curve characterized by an enrichment in the middle rare earth elements; a homologous pattern (EMREE=0.90) has also been observed when applied NASC normalization in clam tissues. Results of lanthanides found in clams were contrasted with the paucity of toxicity studies, determining risk caused by light rare earth elements in the Odiel River close to the Estuary. The current study purposes the use of clam as an innovative “bio-tool” for the biogeochemical monitoring of pollution inputs that determines the acid mine drainage networks affection.