Assessing Mercury Content in Plant and Animal Raw Materials in an Area Impacted by the Copper Industry
Zbigniew Dobrzański1, Roman Kołacz1, Stanisław Czaban2, Fabiola Bubel1, Mateusz Malczewski3, Robert Kupczyński1, Sebastian Opaliński1
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1Department of Environment, Animal Hygiene and Welfare, Faculty of Biology and Animal Science,
Wroclaw University of Environmental and Life Sciences,
Chełmońskiego 38C, 51-630 Wrocław, Poland
2Institute of Environmental Engineering, Faculty of Environmental Engineering and Geodesy,
Wrocław University of Environmental and Life Sciences,
Grunwaldzka 24, 50-363 Wroclaw, Poland
3KGHM Polska Miedź S.A., Hydrotechnical Unit,
Polkowicka 52, 59-305 Rudna, Poland
Submission date: 2016-08-30
Final revision date: 2016-11-02
Acceptance date: 2016-11-03
Online publication date: 2017-03-22
Publication date: 2017-03-22
Pol. J. Environ. Stud. 2017;26(2):577–583
We used a mercury analyzer to determine total mercury (Hg) content in samples of plants and animal origin raw materials collected from an area impacted by the copper industry (Legnica-Głogów Copper District). In 2014 and 2015 we analyzed samples of wheat (grain); potatoes (tuber); dry grass (hay); cow milk, hair, and blood; and poultry liver, muscles, and eggs from 14 villages. Generally, no increased Hg concentrations in the analyzed samples were found. There were no significant differences between the examined years. The highest content of Hg was found in grass (hay) and cow’s hair. There was a many-fold decrease of mercury concentrations in cereals, cow milk, and poultry (eggs, muscles, liver) in comparison to previous studies (2002-07), which indirectly proves that the environmental efforts led by local authorities and industry have been effective.