Bioaccumulation of PCBs in Aquatic Biota from a Tidal Freshwater Marsh Ecosystem
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Water, sediments, and aquatic biota were sampled in a tidal river-marsh on the Potomac River near Washington, DC (USA) to assess baseline concentrations of polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs) and bioaccumulation in finish species. The mean sediment total-PCB concentration in the wetland was 50 ng/g dry weight, and mean concentrations in biota ranged from 150 ng/g to 450 ng/g wet weight. The highest PCB concentrations were observed in channel catfish. The median biota-sediment accumulation factor (BSAF) estimated in all finfish species for total-PCBs was 2.9. However, some of the individual and co-eluting PCB congeners had median BSAFs that were substantially greater (e.g., congener numbers 42, 74, 182/187/128, and 171) or lower (e.g., congener numbers 18/15, 45, 185, and 208) than the total-PCB average. Apparent bioaccumulation factors (biota/water PCB concentration ratios) for PCB congeners showed a parabolic relation with n-octanol/water partition coefficients, confirming some previous investigations. There was no clear trend between apparent bioaccumulation factors and trophic level. Organic-carbon-normalized sediment distribution constants (sediment/water PCB concentration ratios) were linearly related to the apparent bioaccumulation factors for all the finfish species investigated.
KeywordsPCBs Biphenyl Bioaccumulation Channel Catfish Accumulation Factor
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