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Heavy Metals (As, Cd, Hg and Pb) in Hare Tissues: A Survey

Josip Gulin, Tihomir Florijančić, Siniša Ozimec, Ivica Bošković, Zdenko Lončarić, Nina Bilandžić review)


Concerns have been escalating over the increase in heavy metal levels in the envi- ronment due to anthropogenic impacts. Toxic heavy metals (As, Cd, Hg and Pb) are especially dangerous, as they negatively affect organisms and cause outbreaks of diseases. The hare has been proven to be a good indicator of environmental heavy metal contamination. The liver and kidney are the tissues most commonly used in biomonitoring. Hares inhabiting a contaminated habitat have higher concentrations of heavy metals in these tissues than those from a referential  habitat. As is mostly accumulated in the nails and hair, Cd in the kidney, Hg in the brain and kidney, and Pb in the brain and diaphragm. Cd and Hg concentrations in hare liver and kidney incre- ased with animal age. In most countries, hare meat is safe for human consumption, while the consumption of entrails is not recommended.

Correspondent author:
Tihomir Florijančić, Josip Juraj Strossmayer University of Osijek, Faculty of Agrobiotechnical Sciences Osijek, Vladimira Preloga 1, 31000 Osijek, Croatia,