Title
Persistent organic pollutants in the Scheldt estuary : environmental distribution and bioaccumulation Persistent organic pollutants in the Scheldt estuary : environmental distribution and bioaccumulation
Author
Faculty/Department
Faculty of Sciences. Biology
Faculty of Pharmaceutical, Biomedical and Veterinary Sciences. Pharmacy
Publication type
article
Publication
Oxford ,
Subject
Chemistry
Biology
Source (journal)
Environment international. - Oxford
Volume/pages
48(2012) :1 , p. 17-27
ISSN
0160-4120
ISI
000309796800003
Carrier
E
Target language
English (eng)
Full text (Publishers DOI)
Affiliation
University of Antwerp
Abstract
Levels of polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs), polybrominated diphenyl ethers (PBDEs) and organochlorine pesticides (OCPs) were determined in the sediment and several species (European flounder, Platichthys flesus; common sole, Solea solea; Chinese mitten crab, Eriocheir sinensis; shore crab, Carcinus maenas; brown shrimp, Crangon crangon; blue mussel, Mytilus edulis and bristle worms, Polychaeta) from 7 locations in the Scheldt estuary (SE, the NetherlandsBelgium). Overall POP levels in the sediment were low. The average PCB and PBDE concentrations were respectively 31.5 and 115 ng/g dry weight (dw). Highest sediment loads were measured in the vicinity of Antwerp (368 ng PCBs/g dw), a location with intense harbor and industrial activities. Pollution concentrations in the tissues of biota were species-specific. Blue mussels contained the highest lipid concentrations (2.74 ± 0.55%) and reached the highest contamination levels (from 287 to 1688 ng PCBs/g ww, from 2.09 to 12.4 ng PBDEs/g ww). Lowest tissue loads were measured in brown shrimp (from 3.27 to 39.9 ng PCBs/g ww, from 0.05 to 0.47 ng PBDEs/g ww). The PCB congener profile in most of the species was similar with the pattern found in the sediment. PCB 153 was the most abundant congener (16.525.7% in biota, 10.4% in sediment). In the sediment, the total amount of PBDEs consisted for more than 99% of BDE 209. Congener BDE 47 had the highest concentrations in all sampled species (38.570.1%). Sediment POP loadings and tissue concentrations were poorly correlated, indicating that a simple linear or non-linear relationship is insufficient to describe this relationship, possible caused by the complexity of the bioaccumulation processes and the variability in exposure. Because of the high PCB levels, regular consumption of fish and seafood, especially mussels, from the Scheldt estuary should be avoided.
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