A Commentary on the Use of Bivalve Mollusks in Monitoring Metal Pollution Levels

Int J Environ Res Public Health. 2021 Mar 25;18(7):3386. doi: 10.3390/ijerph18073386.


The objective of this commentary is to promote the use of bivalves as biomonitors, which is a part of the continual efforts of the International Mussel Watch. This commentary is an additional discussion on "Bivalve mollusks in metal pollution studies: From bioaccumulation to biomonitoring" by Zuykov et al., published in Chemosphere 93, 201-208. The present discussion can serve as a platform for further insights to provide new thoughts and novel ideas on how to make better use of bivalves in biomonitoring studies. The certainty of better and more extensive applications of mollusks in environmental monitoring in the future is almost confirmed but more studies are urgently needed. With all the reported studies using bivalves as biomonitors of heavy metal pollution, the effectiveness of using Mussel Watch is beyond any reasonable doubts. The challenge is the development of more accurate methodologies for of heavy metal data interpretation, and the precision of the biomonitoring studies using bivalves as biomonitors, whether in coastal or freshwater ecosystems. Lastly, inclusion of human health risk assessment of heavy metals in commercial bivalves would make the research papers of high public interest.

Keywords: bivalves; chemical pollutants; monitoring; shells.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Comment

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Bioaccumulation
  • Biological Monitoring
  • Bivalvia*
  • Ecosystem
  • Environmental Monitoring
  • Humans
  • Metals, Heavy* / analysis
  • Water Pollutants, Chemical* / analysis


  • Metals, Heavy
  • Water Pollutants, Chemical