What Is Bioconcentration?

When it comes to the environment, bioconcentration, and its related concept of bioaccumulation, are important concepts to understand. Here is more on bioconcentration as explained by SVR IAS Academy.

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Occurs in Water

Animals that live in water breathe water and absorb it through their skin. They also eat other water-dwelling plants and animals. If trace elements of dangerous chemicals are present in water, then they are taken into the plants and animals. This leads to biomagnification.

Biomagnification: You Are What You Eat

Not everything eaten is digested. Some trace amount of chemicals stays in an animal’s organs. These chemicals include heavy metals like mercury and pesticides like DDT. Animals that live in water, like fish. For example, little fish are contaminated by bad chemicals. Bigger fish eat the smaller fish. This gives them a higher concentration of the bad chemical in the big fish’s body. Big fish eat more than one smaller fish, getting more and more contaminated. Then, the big fish is eaten by an eagle. The bad chemical is found in its highest concentration at the top of the food chain.

Why This Matters

Bioconcentration and biomagnification can ravage species like birds of prey. People also eat plants, animals and fish that have been contaminated, leading to health problems like damaging internal organs.