BACKGROUND: This paper reports data on bioconcentration potential and baseline mercury concentrations of fruiting bodies of dark honey fungus (Armillaria solidipes) Peck and soil substrate layer (0–10 cm) from 12 spatially distant sites across Poland. Mercury content of caps, stipes and soil samples were determined using validated analytical procedure including cold-vapor atomic absorption spectroscopy after thermal decomposition of the sample matrix and further amalgamation and desorption of mercury from gold wool.
RESULTS: Mean mercury concentrations ranged from 20 ± 8 to 300 ± 70 ng g−1 dry weight (dw) in caps, from 20 ± 6 to 160 ± 40 ng g−1 dw in stipes, and in underlying soil were from 20 ± 2 to 100 ± 130 ng g−1 dw. The results showed that stipes mercury concentrations were 1.1- to 1.7-fold lower than those of caps. All caps and the majority of stipes were characterized by bioconcentration factor values > 1, indicating that dark honey fungus can be characterized as a moderate mercury accumulator.
CONCLUSION: Occasional or relatively frequent eating of meals including caps of dark honey fungus is considered safe in view of the low total mercury content, and the mercury intake rates are below the current reference dose and provisionally tolerable weekly intake limits for this hazardous metal. © 2012 Society of Chemical Industry