Accumulation of lead, zinc, and cadmium in a wild population of Clethrionomys glareolus from an abandoned lead mine

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

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

54 Citations (Scopus)


Lead, zinc, and cadmium were determined in a range of tissues from wild populations of bank voles (Clethrionomys glareolus) trapped on an abandoned metalliferous mine site and a reference site. Estimated dietary intakes indicated that animals were exposed to elevated levels of all three metals at the mine site, and this was generally reflected in metal residues in body tissues. Lead concentrations were significantly higher in all tissues of animals from the mine compared to the reference site, while Cd was higher only in the kidney. There was evidence of age-accumulation (using total body weight as an index of age) of Cd in both the liver and kidney of mine site animals but no evidence of such accumulation of lead in bone. In contrast to Cd and Pb, Zn was lower in the tissues of mine site animals compared to the reference site. Based on critical tissue concentrations, the ecotoxicological risk to a wild population of bank voles (Clethrionomys glareolus), associated with total substrate levels of 1 μg g-1 dry weight Cd and 700 μg g-1 dry weight Zn at this mine site is negligible, but that associated with 4000 μg g-1 dry weight Pb may be considered significant.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)405-411
Number of pages7
JournalArchives of Environmental Contamination and Toxicology
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - Apr 1 2003


All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Toxicology
  • Pollution
  • Health, Toxicology and Mutagenesis

Cite this