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Assessment of heavy metal and organic contaminants levels along the Libyan coast using transplanted mussels (Mytilus galloprovincialis)

June 26, 2014

Within the framework of the MYTIOR project in 2009, heavy metals and organic compounds contaminations were assessed in transplanted mussels in 16 different stations along the coasts of Libya. These stations were located at miles offshore industrial/urban sources but in open sea providing original results related to the background contamination rather than linked to a specific coastal source of pollutants. Results indicated mercury (Hg, 0.045–0.066 mg/kg dry weight (dw)), lead (Pb, 0.44–0, 71 mg/kg dw) and copper (Cu, 3.56–4.21 mg/kg dw) were in the same range or at lower value than control for all stations. Chromium (Cr) in Meleta (3.08 mg/kg dw) and Bomba (3.80 mg/kg dw) and Cadmium values in all stations (1.21–2.41 mg/kg dw) were above control. Meleta, stations from the gulf of Syrt and the three eastern stations were the most affected stations by nickel (max at 5.83 mg/kg dw in Syrt) when zinc was in the same range (141–197 mg/kg dw) and above the control (92 mg/kg dw) at all stations. Polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbon (PAH) levels were found in the range of 16.8–42.8 mg/kg (dry weight) indicating low levels along the Libyan coast with acenaphthene and benzo (a, b, k) pyrenes detected mainly in western Libya. The study of PAH ratios indicated a mixed petrogenic/pyrolytic origin. The only polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs) found in Libya were PCB 101 in one location and PCB 153 in Tripoli, Garrapoli, Syrt, Ras Lanuf and Benghazi (1.2–1.9 μg/kg dw). Insecticides were lower than control in all stations except DDT, only detected in Misratah (3.5 μg/kg dw). Overall, the results indicated a low background contamination and a low pollution extent according to the environmental pressure occurring offshore the Libyan coast.

Galgani F, Chiffoleau J-F, Barrah M, Drebika U, Tomasino C, Andral B, in press: Assessment of heavy metal and organic contaminants levels along the Libyan coast using transplanted mussels (Mytilus galloprovincialis), Environmental Science and Pollution Research, doi:10.1007/s11356-014-3079-1. Article (subscription required).



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