To evaluate the hazard of organic compounds detected in Great Lakes fish by gas chromatography/mass spectrometry, we tested compounds representative of heterocyclic nitrogen compounds, polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons, and cyclic alkanes and alkenes. Sixty-day bioassays on the effects of nicotine, phenanthrene, pinane, and pinene on the behavior, growth, and survival of rainbow trout fry, Oncorhynchus mykiss, were conducted in a large, constant-flow, temperature-controlled water system. The following 60-day LC50's were determined (mg/L): nicotine 5.0, phenanthrene 0.2, pinane 0.8, and pinene 1.2. Values of lowest observed effects level (LOEL) and no observed effects level (NOEL) showed that growth was generally as sensitive an endpoint as behavior and was more sensitive than time of swim-up. The 60-day LC50 values for rainbow trout were compared with earlier acute bioassays with Daphnia pulex and rainbow trout and chronic bioassays with D.pulex conducted at the Great Lakes Science Center. Rainbow trout fry were less sensitive than daphnids in all tests, indicating that toxicity tests with daphnids should be protective of salmonid fry for these types of compounds. The results for representative compounds indicate that these classes of compounds should be included in aquatic risk assessments at sites in the Great Lakes.
Additional publication details
Chronic bioassays of rainbow trout fry with compounds representative of contaminants in Great Lakes fish