Metal accumulation from contaminated food and its effect on growth of juvenile landsnails Helix engaddensis.J Environ Sci Health B. 2002 Mar; 37(2):151-9.JE
Metal accumulation by juvenile landsnails, Helix engaddensis, and its effect on growth rate was studied over a 5-week period of exposure and 2 weeks of recovery. An artificial food contaminated with Cu (4-2500 microg x g(-1)), Cd (50-800 microg x g(-1)), Pb, and Zn (20-12500 microg x g(-1)) was used. During the 7 weeks of the experiment, mortality rates were 20, 27, 30, and 38% among snails fed Cu-, Pb-, Zn-, and Cd-contaminated food, respectively. According to the ability to inhibit growth, metals were found to have the following order: Cd > Zn > Cu = Pb. Inhibitory effects of dietary metals started to be significant from the third week of exposure on. Inhibition of growth by Pb and Cu was found to be reversible, and within the first week of recovery, snails erupted their aestivation and resumed feeding and growth to gain weights similar to those of the control groups. Snails fed Cd- or Zn-contaminated food failed to resume growth during the 2 weeks of recovery. This indicates that in the case of Cu and Pb, growth inhibition was mainly due to starvation due to food rejection and aestivation. On the other hand, growth inhibition caused by Cd and Zn may have been resulting from irreversible toxicity. Therefore, snails were assumed to be sensitive to Cd and Zn but tolerant to Cu and Pb. Accumulation of Cu and Pb was significant only at the highest concentrations. At low and medium concentrations, no signs of accumulation were observed, indicating regulation at these concentrations. Cd and Zn accumulation starts at low concentrations but became significant at medium and high levels indicating accumulation of these metals.