The accumulation of lead, zinc, cadmium and fluoride in the wood mouse (Apodemus sylvaticus L.)

J. A. Cooke, S. M. Andrews, M. S. Johnson

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19 Citations (Scopus)


The concentrations of Pb, Zn, Cd, and fluoride were determined in liver, kidney and femur tissues 30 days after wood mice were provided with water containing soluble salts of these elements in their drinking water. There were eight treatment groups: Pb, Zn, Cd, and fluoride only; Zn and Cd (ZnCd); fluoride and Pb (FPb); fluoride, Pb, Zn, and Cd (FPbZnCd); and a control. Lead concentrations were highest in bone but were also significantly higher in the kidney but not liver when compared to the control. The highest kidney Pb levels were in the FPbZnCd treatment but they were not significantly higher than the Pb only group. Zinc concentrations were highest in kidney and not femur as is usually the case in field caught animals. Cadmium was also highest in the kidney in the high Cd treatments, however, the ZnCd treatment group had significantly lower kidney Cd levels than the Cd only group demonstrating the antagonistic effect of high Zn on Cd accumulation. This effect was reversed when high fluoride and Pb were also present (in the FPbZnCd group) and the kidney Cd reached its highest level. Fluoride showed the typically high levels in bone with only the combined treatment (FPbZnCd) showing a significant increase in kidney fluoride. These results are discussed in terms of the accumulation in wild small mammals caught in polluted sites particularly grasslands established on fluorspar wastes.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)55-63
Number of pages9
JournalWater, Air, and Soil Pollution
Issue number1-2
Publication statusPublished - May 1990

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Environmental Engineering
  • Environmental Chemistry
  • Ecological Modelling
  • Water Science and Technology
  • Pollution


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