Keywords: biological samples, marine organisms, metal speciation, trace metals
Trace metal status in marine biological samples: a review
The literature on trace metal status in marine biological samples is reviewed, taking into account the importance of the subject. Marine organisms accumulate trace metals to body concentrations well above those in seawater. Different marine organisms differ significantly in accumulated tissue and total body concentrations of heavy metals. The present literature survey indicates that more than 26 trace metals have been found in marine biological samples. Extensive work has been reported on heavy metals like Pb, Cd, Zn, Cu and Hg, which are toxic to human health; Cr, Fe, Ni, Mn, As and Co are the metals that have been more or less widely investigated in marine biological samples; Se, Sn, Mg, V, Ca, K, Sr are less studied; and reports on Sb, Al, Na, Mo, Ag, B, Rb and Ti are scarce. The instrumental techniques used for the determination of various metals in marine biological materials are discussed. The works on the speciation of metal ions in such samples are also comprehensively reviewed.