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Polychlorinated biphenyls in cottids, mussels, and sediment in southern puget sound, Washington


In Southern Puget Sound, PCB levels tend to be highest at or near the areas of highest population density, industry, and shipping activity. This is to be expected, since municipal and industrial outfalls provide the major input of PCB into the environment. PCB tends to accumulate near the source due to its low solubility in water and high affinity for sediment and particulate matter (Hammond et al. 1972). The levels of PCB that we found in our samples are comparable to those found in similar organisms from other coastal and estuarine systems throughout the world. Average PCB concentrations in mussels and herring from sites along the coast of Sweden were 30 and 270 ng/g (wet wt.), respectively (Jensen et al. 1969). In the Irish coastal system, mussels were reported to have from 50 to 500 ng/g (wet wt.) and herring contained from 10 to 2000 ng/g (wet wt.) of PCB (Holdgate 1970). Mussels from the New Brunswick coast and herring from the Bay of Fundy contained 140 and 540 ng/g (wet wt.), respectively (Zitko 1971). PCB levels in mussels from San Francisco Bay were reported to be between 30 and 60 ng/g (wet wt.) (Risebrough and Schmidt 1975).

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Correspondence to Michael W. Beug.

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Mowrer, J., Calambokidis, J., Musgrove, N. et al. Polychlorinated biphenyls in cottids, mussels, and sediment in southern puget sound, Washington. Bull. Environ. Contam. Toxicol. 18, 588–594 (1977).

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