Water, Air, & Soil Pollution

, Volume 222, Issue 1–4, pp 403–419 | Cite as

Associations Between Dioxins/Furans and Dioxin-Like PCBs in Estuarine Sediment and Blue Crab

  • Johan Liebens
  • Carl J. Mohrherr
  • Natalie K. Karouna-Renier
  • Richard A. Snyder
  • K. Ranga Rao


The objective of the present study was to evaluate the relationships between the quantity, toxicity, and compositional profile of dioxin/furan compounds (PCDD/Fs) and dioxin-like polychlorinated biphenyls (DL-PCBs) in estuarine sediment and in the blue crab (Callinectes sapidus). Sediment and blue crab samples were collected in three small urban estuaries that are in relatively close proximity to each other. Results show that differences between PCDD/F and DL-PCB mass concentrations and total toxic equivalents (TEQ) toxicity in sediments of the three estuaries are reflected in those of the blue crab. TEQs are higher in the hepatopancreas of the crabs than in the sediment, but the concentration factor is inversely proportional to the TEQ in the sediments. Congener profiles in the crabs are systematically different from those in the sediments, and the difference is more pronounced for PCDD/Fs than for DL-PCBs, possibly due to differences in metabolization rates. Compared with sediment profiles, more lesser-chlorinated PCDD/Fs that have higher TEFs accumulate in crab hepatopancreas. This selective bioaccumulation of PCDD/Fs results in a TEQ augmentation in crab hepatopancreas compared with sediments. The bioaccumulation in the blue crab is also selective for PCDD/Fs over DL-PCBs.


Dioxin/furan PCB TEQ Sediment pollution Organic pollutants Bioaccumulation 


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media B.V. 2011

Authors and Affiliations

  • Johan Liebens
    • 1
  • Carl J. Mohrherr
    • 2
  • Natalie K. Karouna-Renier
    • 2
    • 3
  • Richard A. Snyder
    • 2
  • K. Ranga Rao
    • 2
  1. 1.Department of Environmental StudiesUniversity of West FloridaPensacolaUSA
  2. 2.Center for Environmental Diagnostics and BioremediationUniversity of West FloridaPensacolaUSA
  3. 3.Patuxent Wildlife Research Center, U.S. Geological SurveyLaurelUSA

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