Long-Term Effects of Dredging Operations Program. Accumulation of PCBs, Mercury, and Cadmium by Nereis virens, Mercenaria mercenaria, and Palaemonetes pugio from Contaminated Harbor Sediments
ARMY ENGINEER WATERWAYS EXPERIMENT STATION VICKSBURG MS ENVIRONMENTAL LAB
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Accumulation of polychlorinated biphenyls PCBs, mercury, and cadmium by sandworms Nereis virens, hard clams Mercenaria mercenaria, and grass shrimp Palaemonetes pugio exposed to contaminated sediments from four sites in New York Harbor was studied for a 100-day period. Of the three contaminants monitored, only PCBs were found to bioaccumulate above background control concentrations. Small increases in PCB body burden were detected in M. mercenaria and P. pugio, whereas higher concentrations were measured in N. virens. Uptake was affected by the organic content of the sediment. Bioaccumulation factors concentration in tissueconcentration in sediment for N. virens ranged from 1.59 in a low organic sediment to 0.15 in a high organic sediment. Comparison of 10-day and steady-state concentrations of PCBs in N. virens indicates that a 10-day exposure underestimates equilibrium concentration however, 10 days is sufficient to detect the potential for PCB accumulation. Results from this study support the contention that sediment concentration alone does not reflect bioavailability and that toxicity tests bioassays and field monitoring remain the most direct methods for estimating bioaccumulation potential of sediment-bound contaminants.
- Civil Engineering