Uptake of certain heavy metals from contaminated soil by mushroom--Galerina vittiformis.
Cd and Pb contents were determined in 699 samples of fruiting bodies of 55 mushrooms species, collected in the period 2000-2007 in the vicinity of the largest Slovenian thermal power plant (the Šalek Valley) and near an abandoned lead smelter (the Upper Meža Valley). The present study is the first regarding lead and cadmium in mushrooms from those exposed areas. Therefore, there was a significant lack of prior data. Among 55 studied mushroom species 36 species are edible and important from an ecotoxicological perspective. However, the remaining non-edible species are important for bioindication and allowed us to compare our results with other studies carried out in other polluted areas in Europe. The highest contents of Cd were found in Agaricus arvensis Schff.: Fr. (117 mg/kg dw) and Agaricus silvicola L.: Fr. (67.9 mg/kg dw), while the highest contents of Pb were found in Macrolepiota procera (Scop.) Singer (53.8 mg/kg dw) and Lycoperdon perlatum Pers. (50 mg/kg dw), respectively. Considering the high contents of both metals in fruiting bodies of edible fungi, together with FAO/WHO directives on tolerable levels of weekly intake of Pb/Cd by humans, it is evident that consumption of some mushroom species originating from both study areas may pose a significant human health risk. A. arvensis Schff.: Fr., A. silvicola L.: Fr. and Cortinarius caperatus (Pers.) Fr. originating from the Šalek Valley, and Armillaria mellea Vahl. P. Kumm., Boletus edulis Bull., L. perlatum Pers., Leccinum versipelle (Fr. & Hök) Snell, and M. procera (Scop.) Singer originating from the Upper Meža Valley should not be consumed at all. Our findings are consistent with some other studies, which emphasized that mushrooms from heavily polluted areas, such as in the vicinity of smelters, accumulate extremely high amounts of metals, and should therefore be omitted from human consumption.