Macro and trace elements in Paracentrotus lividus gonads from South West Atlantic areas

Carolina Camacho*, A. Cristina Rocha, Vera L. Barbosa, Patrícia Anacleto, M. Luisa Carvalho, Rie Romme Rasmussen, Jens Jørgen Sloth, Marisa Almeida, N. Leonor Nunes

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal articleResearchpeer-review


Sea urchin represents one of the most valuable seafood product being harvested and explored for their edible part, the gonads or roe. This species is generally considered a sentinel organism for ecotoxicological studies being widely used in monitoring programs to assess coastal aquatic environments quality, because is directly exposed to anthropogenic contaminants in their habitat. In this context, the aim of this study is to evaluate the concentrations of macro (Cl, K, P, Ca, S) and trace (Zn, Br, Fe, Sr, I, Se, Rb, Cu, Cr, Ni, As, iAs, Cd, Pb, Hg) elements in Paracentrotus lividus gonads from three South West Atlantic production areas subjected to distinct environmental and anthropogenic pressures. In all studied areas, the elements profile in sea urchin gonads was Cl > K > P > Ca > S > Zn > Br > Fe > Sr > I > Rb > Cu > Se > Cr > Ni, suggesting an element guide profile with special interest for sea urchin farming development. Concerning toxic elements, the profile was the following: As > Cd > Pb > Hg > iAs. The results evidenced higher levels of Pb and Hg in open areas. Distinct area characteristics and anthropogenic pressures of production areas evidence the importance of biomonitoring contaminants, particularly toxic elements. In general, the levels of these elements were below maximum levels in foodstuffs (MLs) which pose a minimal health risk to consumers.
Original languageEnglish
JournalEnvironmental Research
Pages (from-to)297-307
Publication statusPublished - 2018


  • Sea urchin
  • Macro elements
  • Trace elements
  • Environment determinants
  • Risk/benefik assessment


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