Bioaccumulation Studies of Zinc in Aquatic Tissue Samples Using Flame Atomic Absorption Spectroscopy

Walworth, Patricia, Michael Leonard, and Katherine Lanigan

Bioaccumulation patterns of zinc in fish, snails, worms, and shrimp were examined using flame atomic absorption spectrometry (FAAS).   The purpose of this research was to develop a method for metal detection in brackish water based on biological uptake by aquatic species.  Samples were immersed in zinc solutions containing sodium or calcium ions ranging from 0-10 ppm.  The sodium was used as an osmotic control for the other cations and calcium was used to examine whether or not the presence of another divalent cation would compete with zinc in the gill's co-transporter.  Tissue digestion and metal extraction methods were developed. The individual tissues of a Carassius auratus including the muscle, kidney, gills, liver and intestine were tested.  Whole organism analysis of platyhelminthes, snails, and shrimp with respect to zinc, sodium, and calcium concentrations were measured after exposure.