TOTAL MERCURY CONCENTRATIONS OF WILD EDIBLE MUSHROOMS OF THE BORECKA FOREST AND THE ADJACENT AREA.
 
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Pol. J. Food Nutr. Sci. 2001;51(1):53–58
 
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ABSTRACT
The total mercury concentrations of eleven species of common edible wild mushrooms of the genus Suillus, Xerocomus, Boletus, Leccinum, Suillus, Armillariella, Russula, Lactarius, and Lycoperdon collected from the Borecka Forest and the adjacent area in 1998 were determined by the cold-vapour flame-less atomic absorption spectroscopy (CV-AAS). In total, 382 pooled samples of the caps and stalks, and 16 pooled samples of the whole fruiting bodies were examined. The total number of the fruiting bodies was 804. The mercury concentration varied depending on the species and site investigated. The fruiting bodies of King Bolete Boletus edulis showed the highest contamination with mercury. The caps of King Bolete and Yellow-cracking Bolete Xerocomus subtomentosus collected from the potentially unpolluted region of the Borecka Forest were around threefold more contaminated with mercury than the specimens originating from its surrounding area i.e. 9900±2700 and 3600±1400, and 480±190 and 160±70 ng/g dry weight, respectively. Apart from the King Bolete relatively elevated concentrations of mercury were quantified also in whole fruiting bodies of Common Puffball Lycoperdon perlatum, i.e. 3400±1300 ng/g and in the caps and stalks of Common Scaber Stalk, i.e. 1200±740 and 1100±380 ng/g d.w., respectively. In the case of other species investigated, the mercury concentrations were below 1000 ng/g d.w., and the lowest values were found for Crab-scended Brittle Gills Russula xerampelina, i.e. 60±20 and 40±20 ng/g d.w. in the caps and stalks, respectively. For the Larch Bolete, Bay Bolete, Yellow-cracking Bolete, King Bolete, Common Scaber Stalk, Honey Mushroom, Crab-scented Brittle Gills and Safron Milk Cap there was a positive correlation (p < 0.05) between the mercury content and size (diameter) of the caps, and for some cases also between the mercury content of the stalks and the size (height) of the whole fruiting body. King Bolete and Common Scaber Stalk are among the most popular wild edible mushrooms traditionally picked-up in Poland and the data obtained suggest the possible health risk for the local consumers and consideration of establishing the mushrooms consumption advisory.
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