Presented in this paper is result of the study of the bioconcentration potential of mercury (Hg) by Suillus luteus mushroom collected from regions within Central, Eastern, and Northern regions of Europe. As determined by cold-vapor atomic absorption spectroscopy, the Hg content varied from 0.13 ? 0.05 to 0.33 ? 0.13 mg kg(-1) dry matter for caps and from 0.038 ? 0.014 to 0.095 ? 0.038 mg kg(-1) dry matter in stems. The Hg content of the soil substratum (0-10 cm layer) underneath the fruiting bodies showed generally low Hg concentrations that varied widely ranging from 0.0030 to 0.15 mg kg(-1) dry matter with mean values varying from 0.0078 ? 0.0035 to 0.053 ? 0.025 mg kg(-1) dry matter, which is below typical content in the Earth crust. The caps were observed to be on the richer in Hg than the stems at ratio between 1.8 ? 0.4 and 5.3 ? 2.6. The S. luteus mushroom showed moderate ability to accumulate Hg with bioconcentration factor (BCF) values ranging from 3.6 ? 1.3 to 42 ? 18. The consumption of fresh S. luteus mushroom in quantities up to 300 g week(-1) (assuming no Hg ingestion from other foods) from background areas in the Central, Eastern, and Northern part of Europe will not result in the intake of Hg exceeds the provisional weekly tolerance limit (PTWI) of 0.004 mg kg(-1) body mass.
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