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Environmental fate & pathways

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Cobalt is an essential element for plants and animals (Gal et al 2008) and as such homeostatic mechanisms maintain cobalt concentrations in tissues and body fluids within ideal levels by actively accumulating or depurating cobalt depending on metabolic requirements. Few studies are available that have addressed the question of cobalt biomagnifiation (i.e, the increase in cobalt concentration with increasing trophic level). However, the existing information suggests that, as is the case with most metals, cobalt does not biomagnify, but rather exhibits biodilution, particularly in upper levels of both aquatic and terrestrial food chains.