Polish Journal of Environmental Studies
ISO Abbrev. Title: Pol. J. Environ. Stud.
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ISO Abbrev. Title: Pol. J. Environ. Stud.

Vol. 18, No. 2 (2009), 265-272


Concentration of Chosen Trace Elements of Toxic Properties in Bee Pollen Loads

A. Roman

Department of Animal Hygiene and Environment, Wrocław University of Environmental and Life Science, Chełmońskiego 38C, 51-630 Wrocław, Poland


Abstract: The aim of this study was to determine the rate of bioaccumulation of chosen heavy metals (As, Pb, Cd, Hg) in fresh pollen obtained in the form of pollen loads. The research material were samples of fresh pollen obtained in stationary apiaries located in two regions: agricultural woodland and a former military airfield. Samples were collected in a period of July – August 2005 and 2006. Samples were mineralized by microwave method. Quantitative analysis of examined metals (arsenic, lead, cadmium and mercury) was done using plasma spectrometry (ICP).
Research demonstrated that mean content of elements of toxic properties in pollen from an agricultural woodland region in 2005 and 2006 were (in mg·kg-1 d.m.) as follows: Pb – 0.804 and 0.491; Cd – 0.234 and 0.272; As – 0.060 and 0.036, and Hg – 0.0038 and 0.0036, respectively. Lead concentration in 20 samples (n=36) in 2005, and in 11 samples (n=36) in 2006 exceeded acceptable standards (0.50 mg·kg-1 d.m.). However, in pollen from the area of the former military airfield the content of particular elements was higher for Pb – 0.835 and 0.704, Cd – 0.356 and 0.363, As – 0.093 and 0.099, and for Hg – 0.0066 and 0.0059, respectively. Lead accumulation exceeded permissible standards in 33 samples (n=36) from 2005 and in 21 (n=36) from 2006, and cadmium in 31 and 36 samples (n=36), respectively.
Mercury and arsenic appeared to be metals of toxic properties that do not cause any toxicological problems in pollen from the agricultural woodland and airfield regions since their concentration was very low. High concentration of cadmium in pollen from the agricultural woodland deserves attention. Differences in concentrations of analyzed elements between regions may be used as bioindicators of environmental contamination with elements of toxic properties.

 

Keywords: pollen, pollen load, heavy metals, lead, cadmium, arsenic, mercury


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