Bioaccumulation of Lead, Cadmium and Mercury in Roe Deer and Wild Boars from Areas with Different Levels of Toxic Metal Pollution

Document Type : Original Research Paper


1 Department of Environment, Hygiene and Animal Welfare, Wroclaw University of Environmental and Life Sciences, Jozefa Chelmonskiego 38C, 51-630 Wroclaw, Poland

2 Department of Pharmacology and Toxicology, The National Veterinary Research Institute, Aleja Partyzantow 57, 24-100 Pulawy, Poland


We used wild boars and roe deer as biomonitors of lead (Pb), cadmium (Cd), and mercury (Hg)
contamination in two major industrial sites in Poland with different levels of toxic metal pollution. Masurian
Lakes District, located far away from industry, was used as the reference site. Levels of Pb, Cd, and Hg in liver,
kidney and muscle samples and in the stomach content of the animals were determined using atomic absorption
spectroscopy (AAS) methods. We calculated also the mean concentration factors in the animal tissues versus
their concentration in the gastric or rumen content. Our results indicate that area affected by metal smelting
was more contaminated than brown coal mining area and the reference site, as indicated by higher levels of Pb
and Cd in tissues and stomach contents of the animals. High levels of those metals in the offal of game animals
may pose a threat to consumers of venison.