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This study assessed the bioaccumulation of total lead and the imposex effect of the Volema (Pugilina) cochlidium gastropods in Bacoor Bay, Philippines. The hepatopancreas was assessed for lead concentrations, and measuring the penis length of the affected female organism assessed the occurrence of the imposex effect of the same organism. Results showed that lead bioaccumulated in the hepatopancreas. The prevalence of imposex in the gastropods in Bacoor Bay is 36.67%. Among the female gastropod examined, about 50% showed the imposex effect. The penis length of the imposex-affected female gastropod increases with the increasing tissue lead concentrations. Likewise, the penis length of normal male gastropods increases with the increasing tissue lead concentrations. However, no significant relationships between the lead concentrations in the tissue to that of the penis length of the normal male gastropods (R=0.12; P=0.59) and the penis length of those affected female gastropods with the imposex occurrence (R=0.06; P=0.74) were observed. No significant differences were observed on the total lead bioaccumulated in the hepatopancreas of the male, female and imposex-affected females. Continuous biomonitoring must be undertaken to safeguard the aquatic organisms from the deleterious effects it may acquire from its exposure to the harmful heavy metals emanating in the environment.

Author(s): Glenn L. Sia Su, Gliceria B. Ramos, Elleia Corinne B. Barcelon, Reyna Marie C. Federo, Maria Lilibeth L. Sia Su, Kimberly Beltran-Benjamin

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