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Mercury Levels in Sediments and Mangrove Oysters, Crassostrea rizophorae, from the North Coast of Villa Clara, Cuba


Total mercury levels were quantified in sediments and oyster tissues (Crassostrea rizophorae) from the Sagua la Grande River estuary and offshore mangrove keys 19 km downstream of a chlor-alkali plant (CAP) in Villa Clara, Cuba. Relatively elevated total mercury levels were found in sediments from the estuary itself, ranging from 0.507 to 1.81 μg g−1 dry weight. However, levels were lower in sediments from the keys farther from the estuary. Oyster mercury levels were always acceptable for human consumption, although levels significantly correlated in sediments and oysters across sampling sites (p < 0.05), which suggests that mercury from the CAP is impacting coastal water quality conditions.

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This research was funded by the Ministry of Science Technology and Environment of Cuba as part of the UNDP CUB/92/G31 and IAEA CUB7008 Projects. Authors are grateful to Mrs Mercedes Arellano, Mrs Natalia Polanko, Mr. Edgar Rivas and Mr. Michel Manduca for coordination and support and to the fishermen from Isabela de Sagua (UEB ISAMAR).

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Correspondence to D. W. Graham.

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Olivares-Rieumont, S., Lima, L., Rivero, S. et al. Mercury Levels in Sediments and Mangrove Oysters, Crassostrea rizophorae, from the North Coast of Villa Clara, Cuba. Bull Environ Contam Toxicol 88, 589–593 (2012).

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  • Mercury
  • Sediments
  • Oysters (Crassostrea rizophorae)
  • Sagua la Grande River