Accurate determination of Cd, Cr, Cu and Ni in woodlice and their skins--is moulting a means of detoxification?

Sci Total Environ. 2005 Jan 20;337(1-3):83-90. doi: 10.1016/j.scitotenv.2004.07.008.


Cd, Cr, Cu and Ni were determined in two different species of woodlice: Porcellio scaber and Porcellio dilatatus. Both P. scaber and P. dilatatus were cultivated under standardized conditions in a climatic chamber. Moreover, skins of the cultivated animals were collected and analysed separately to examine whether moulting is a way of detoxification from these elements. After drying and grinding both animal and skin samples, they were pooled to obtain enough sample material for each species. The pooled samples were digested in pure concentrated nitric acid using microwave-assisted high pressure digestion and, finally, analysed by ICP-OES. Special emphasis was given to quality control. To match the matrix of the samples very closely, the reference materials Dorm-2, Dogfish Muscle (Squalus acanthias) and SRM 1577b Bovine Liver were used to evaluate the whole analytical process including sample digestion. Analyses of the elements in the reference materials were carried out using three different wavelengths for each element simultaneously to check for spectral interferences and to select the wavelengths which were best suited for the analyses. Concentrations of Cd, Cr, Cu and Ni in woodlice and their skins indicated that moulting is a possible means of detoxification in the case of Cr and Ni.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study

MeSH terms

  • Adaptation, Physiological
  • Animals
  • Environmental Monitoring
  • Isopoda / chemistry
  • Isopoda / physiology*
  • Metals, Heavy / analysis*
  • Metals, Heavy / standards
  • Molting*
  • Skin / chemistry
  • Skin Physiological Phenomena
  • Soil Pollutants / analysis*
  • Spectrophotometry, Atomic


  • Metals, Heavy
  • Soil Pollutants