Russian Journal of Ecology

, Volume 46, Issue 6, pp 564–572 | Cite as

Heavy metals in the mother–placenta–fetus system in bank voles under conditions of environmental pollution from copper plant emissions

  • S. V. MukhachevaEmail author
  • V. S. Bezel’


Accumulation of heavy metals (Cu, Zn, Cd, and Pb) in the mother–placenta–fetus system has been studied in small mammals (based on a case study of bank voles) living under conditions of environmental pollution from copper production emissions (Middle Ural). The role of gastrointestinal and placental barriers has been assessed in translocation of the studied elements from pregnant female diets to embryos. It has been shown that, with existing environmental pollution levels, the entry of toxicants into the organisms of female individuals does not necessarily lead to significant fetal losses during pregnancy, but it may affect the quality of progeny and its vital capacity in the early postnatal period.


small mammals industrial pollution heavy metals embryo placenta copper smelter Middle Urals 


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© Pleiades Publishing, Ltd. 2015

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Institute of Plant and Animal Ecology, Ural BranchRussian Academy of SciencesYekaterinburgRussia

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