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Comparing polychlorinated biphenyl concentrations and patterns in the Saginaw River using sediment, caged fish, and semipermeable membrane devices

Environmental Science and Technology

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, , , , , , , , , and
DOI: 10.1021/es001169f

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Abstract

Three techniques of assessing bioavailable polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs) in the Saginaw River, MI, were compared: sediments, caged fish, and semipermeable membrane devices (SPMDs). SPMDs and caged fish were placed in the river for 28 days at five sites where sediments were also sampled. The samples were analyzed for PCB congeners to determine concentrations and patterns. Total PCB concentrations ranged from 33 to 280 ng/g (dry weight) in sediments, 46 to 290 ng/g (wet weight) in caged fish, and 77 to 790 ng/g in SPMDs. Previously reported rates of PCB accumulation by SPMDs were used to estimate aqueous concentrations from the PCB concentrations detected in the SPMDs. Sediment-water partition coefficients were used to estimate aqueous PCB concentrations from sediment. Steady-state bioconcentration factors and depuration rate constants were used to estimate dissolved PCB concentrations from caged channel catfish. Relative PCB patterns from the SPMDs, caged fish, and sediment were compared using principal components analysis. SPMD and sediment samples provide complementary information. Sediments reflect long-term accumulation and weathering, while SPMDs integrate water concentrations only during the sampling period. Because of higher water solubilities of lower-chlorinated PCBs these predominate in the SPMDs as compared to in the fish and sediments. Contaminant profile differences between caged fish and SPMDs are likely due to metabolism and depuration of certain PCB congeners by fish.Three techniques of assessing bioavailable polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs) in the Saginaw River, Ml, were compared: sediments, caged fish, and semipermeable membrane devices (SPMDs). SPMDs and caged fish were placed in the river for 28 days at five sites where sediments were also sampled. The samples were analyzed for PCB congeners to determine concentrations and patterns. Total PCB concentrations ranged from 33 to 280 ng/g (dry weight) in sediments, 46 to 290 ng/g (wet weight) in caged fish, and 77 to 790 ng/g in SPMDs. Previously reported rates of PCB accumulation by SPMDs were used to estimate aqueous concentrations from the PCB concentrations detected in the SPMDs. Sediment-water partition coefficients were used to estimate aqueous PCB concentrations from sediment. Steady-state bioconcentration factors and depuration rate constants were used to estimate dissolved PCB concentrations from caged channel catfish. Relative PCB patterns from the SPMDs, caged fish, and sediment were compared using principal components analysis. SPMD and sediment samples provide complementary information. Sediments reflect long-term accumulation and weathering, while SPMDs integrate water concentrations only during the sampling period. Because of higher water solubilities of lower-chlorinated PCBs these predominate in the SPMDs as compared to in the fish and sediments. Contaminant profile differences between caged fish and SPMDs are likely due to metabolism and depuration of certain PCB congeners by fish.At five sites in the Saginaw River, MI, PCB concentrations were determined in the summer of 1993 using three methods: sediment analysis, concentrations in caged fish, and concentrations in semipermeable membrane devices (SPMDs). On average, total PCB concentrations in the SPMDs were twice those found in caged fish, and the SPMD-to-fish concentration ratios of di-, tri-, tetra-, and pentaCB homologues were 10.0, 3.0, 2.5, and 1.4, respectively. Average concentrations in the sediments were approximately half those in the SPMDs, and the caged fish showed a greater preponderance of higher log octanol-water partition coefficient PCBs similar to the sediment pattern. On average, the water PCB concentrations estimated from sediment concentrations were five times higher than those calculated from SPMDs and three times higher than those estimated from caged fish. The total PCB concentrations in sediment, caged fish, and SPMDs ranged 33-280, 46-290, and 77-790 ng/g, respectiv

Additional Publication Details

Publication type:
Article
Publication Subtype:
Journal Article
Title:
Comparing polychlorinated biphenyl concentrations and patterns in the Saginaw River using sediment, caged fish, and semipermeable membrane devices
Series title:
Environmental Science and Technology
DOI:
10.1021/es001169f
Volume
34
Issue:
19
Year Published:
2000
Language:
English
Publisher:
ACS
Publisher location:
Washington, DC, United States
Larger Work Type:
Article
Larger Work Subtype:
Journal Article
Larger Work Title:
Environmental Science and Technology
First page:
4095
Last page:
4102