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(473) Biomarkers of Metals Exposure in Fish from Existing and Proposed Lead Mining Areas of Missouri.
Whyte, Jeffrey*,1, Schmitt, Christopher2, Brumbaugh, William2, Annis, Mandy3, Tillitt, Donald2, 1 University of Missouri-Columbia, Columbia, MO, USA2 U.S. Geological Survey, Columbia, MO, USA3 Johnson Controls World Services, Incorporated, Columbia, MO, USA
ABSTRACT- Lead mining in Missouri has been focused in the New Lead Belt for the last 30 y. Additional lead deposits were recently discovered within the Mark Twain National Forest and the groundwater recharge area of the Ozark National Scenic Riverways. This study was conducted to document conditions in historic, active, and proposed mining areas. Two species of fish (largescale stoneroller, Campostoma oligolepis; and longear sunfish, Lepomis megalotis) representing different trophic levels were collected from 16 sites on streams affected to varying degrees by mining and related activities. A third species (northern hog sucker, Hypentelium nigricans) was also collected from 7 sites. Blood samples obtained from fish (N = 220) were analyzed for lead (Pb) and other metals, hemoglobin (Hb), and two biomarkers of lead exposure, -aminolevulinic acid dehydratase (ALA-D) activity and zinc protoporphyrin (ZPP). Blood lead concentrations were generally higher at sites affected by mining and related activities than at reference sites, and were 2- to 3-fold higher in hog suckers than in either stonerollers or longear sunfish. Blood lead concentrations were also substantially lower at all mining-affected sites than when these sites were last studied (ca. 1989), reflecting both environmental improvements and reduced mine outputs during the 1990s. ALA-D activity was reduced slightly at several sites where blood lead concentrations were above background, but blood lead levels were generally below the 0.5 mg/L level previously associated with impaired heme synthesis in fish. In all three species, reduced ALA-D activity was significantly (p<0.05) correlated with increasing blood lead concentrations (stoneroller r = -0.40; longear sunfish r = -0.40; hog sucker r = -0.47). Reductions in mean ALA-D activity in fish collected from mining areas relative to reference locations was 20-30% for stonerollers, 30-50% for longear sunfish, and 20-30% for hog suckers. Neither Hb or ZPP were affected at most sites.
Key words: Pb, ALA-D, mining, biomarkers
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