The concentration of 15 trace elements was determined by activation analysis of samples of whole fish and fish livers from three of the Great Lakes: Michigan, Superior, and Erie. The average concentrations of 7 elements in 19 whole fish from 3 species were as follows: uranium, 3 ppb (parts per billion); thorium, 6 ppb; cobalt, 28 ppb; cadmium, 94 ppb; arsenic, 16 ppb; chromium, 1 ppm; and copper, 1.3 ppm. The average concentrations of 8 elements in 40 liver samples from 10 species of fish were as follows: uranium, ~ 2 ppb; thorium, a?? 2 ppb; cobalt, 40 ppb; copper, 9 ppm; zinc, 30 ppm; bromine, 0.4 ppm; arsenic, 30 ppb; and cadmium, 0.4 ppm. Other elements observed in most of the samples were: antimony, 5-100 ppb; gold, 2-5 ppb; lanthanum, 1-20 ppb; rhenium, 0.5-5 ppb; rubidium, 0.06-4 ppm; and selenium, 0.1-2 ppb.
Trace element concentrations varied with species and lake. Uranium and thorium varied with species, but not for the same species from different lakes. The levels of copper, cobalt, zinc, and bromine varied little between species and lakes. The concentration of cadmium, arsenic, and chromium varied between species and with species between lakes.
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Concentrations of trace elements in Great Lakes fishes