Tuesday 18 June 2019

Journal of veterinary science- Lupine Publishers

Persistent Organic Pollutants and Heavy Metals and the Importance of Fish as a Bio-Indicator of Environmental Pollution by Nikola Puvača in CDVS in Lupine Publishers

Nowadays water pollution is the burning issue all over the world. Aquatic ecosystems are frequently contaminated with different toxicants through anthropogenic activities, and some of them such as metals may be naturally present and essential in low concentration but toxic and harmful in higher concentrations. Having in mind that not all chemical forms of pollutants are equally bioavailable, and some pollutants can be accumulated in living organisms to a greater extent than others, there is a need to study the levels of pollutants in the organisms to be able to predict the environmental risk. Thus, chemical analyses of the tissues of aquatic organisms are used as a routine approach in studies of aquatic pollution, providing a temporal integration of the levels of pollutants with biological relevance at higher concentrations than those present in water or sediment, and facilitating their quantification [1]. Fish are among the group of aquatic organisms which represent the largest and most diverse group of vertebrates. A number of characteristics make them excellent experimental models for toxicological research, especially for the contaminants which are likely to exert their impact on aquatic systems [2]. Due to feeding and living in the aquatic environments fish are particularly vulnerable and heavily exposed to pollution because they cannot escape from the detrimental effects of pollutants. Fish, in comparison with invertebrates, are more sensitive to many toxicants and are a convenient test subject for indication of ecosystem health. Heavy metals are produced from a variety of natural and anthropogenic sources. In aquatic environments, heavy metal pollution results from direct atmospheric deposition, geologic weathering or through the discharge of agricultural, municipal, residential or industrial waste products. Heavy metals are able to disturb the integrity of the physiological and biochemical mechanisms in fish that are not only an important ecosystem component, but also used as a food source. Previous studies have shown that marine and farmed fish and shellfish are significant contributors to consumer intake of some contaminants due to their presence in the aquatic environment and their accumulation in the flesh of fish and shellfish. The objective of this article is to describe the effects of different persistent organic pollutants and heavy metals on the fish used as bioindicator of environmental pollution. Fish have been found to be good indicators of water contamination in aquatic systems because they occupy different trophic levels; they are of different sizes and ages and in comparison with invertebrates, are also more sensitive to many toxicants [3]. Last but not least, fish are the final chain of aquatic food web and an important food source for human. Therefore, some toxicants in aquatic environments can be transferred through food chain into humans.


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