Trace element contamination in fish impacted by bauxite red mud disposal in the Cassidaigne canyon (NW French Mediterranean)

Type Article
Date 2019-11
Language English
Author(s) Bouchoucha Marc1, Chekri R.2, Leufroy A.2, Jitaru P.2, Millour S.2, Marchond N.2, Chafey C.2, Testu C.2, Zinck J.2, Cresson PierreORCID3, Mirallès F.1, Mahe A.4, Arnich N.4, Sanaa M.4, Bemrah N.4, Guérin T2
Affiliation(s) 1 : Ifremer, Lab Environm Ressources Provence Azur Corse, CS 20330, F-83507 La Seyne Sur Mer, France
2 : Université Paris-Est, ANSES, Laboratory for Food Safety, F-94701 Maisons-Alfort, France
3 : Ifremer, Lab Ressources Halieutiques, BP 699, F-62 321 Boulogne sur Mer, France
4 : ANSES, Risk Assessment Directorate (DER), F-94701 Maisons-Alfort, France
Source Science Of The Total Environment (0048-9697) (Elsevier BV), 2019-11 , Vol. 690 , P. 16-26
DOI 10.1016/j.scitotenv.2019.06.474
WOS© Times Cited 19
Keyword(s) Trace element, Bioaccumulation, Arsenic speciation, ICP-MS, Fish, Industrial discharge

From 1966 to 2015, the Gardanne alumina refinery discharged some 20 million tons of bauxite residue (called red mud) into the Cassidaigne Canyon (northwest French Mediterranean) with impacts on local ecosystem functioning. Although these red muds contained high levels of trace elements (TE), in particular titanium (Ti), vanadium (V), aluminum (Al) and arsenic (As), surprisingly, their impacts on fish contamination levels and the risk related to fish consumption have been little studied until now. Here, 11 trace elements (Al, As, Cd, Cr, Co, Cr, Mn, Ni, Pb, Ti and V) were analyzed in muscle and, when possible, liver, from 1308 fish of 26 species from an impacted zone in the vicinity of the Cassidaigne Canyon and a reference zone, unaffected by red mud disposals. Moreover, 66 arsenic speciation analyses were performed. Although the impact of human activities on the levels of fish contamination by trace elements is generally not easy to assess in situ because it is blurred by interaction with biological effects, we highlighted significant contamination of the fish species collected from the Cassidaigne Canyon, especially by the main trace elements attributable to the discharges of the Gardanne alumina refinery, namely Al, V and Ti. Moreover, inorganic toxic As concentrations were higher in the impacted zone. The results of this baseline research also confirmed the concern previously raised regarding Hg in Mediterranean organisms and that trace element contamination levels in fish are generally negatively related to fish length for all TE except Hg.

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Bouchoucha Marc, Chekri R., Leufroy A., Jitaru P., Millour S., Marchond N., Chafey C., Testu C., Zinck J., Cresson Pierre, Mirallès F., Mahe A., Arnich N., Sanaa M., Bemrah N., Guérin T (2019). Trace element contamination in fish impacted by bauxite red mud disposal in the Cassidaigne canyon (NW French Mediterranean). Science Of The Total Environment, 690, 16-26. Publisher's official version : , Open Access version :