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Estimation of Polycyclic Aromatic Hydrocarbon Concentrations in the Water Column Based on Tissue Residues in Mussels and Salmon: An Equilibrium Partitioning Approach

Equilibrium partitioning was used to estimate concentrations of dissolved polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs) in the water column from PAH residues in tissues of mussels and juvenile pink salmon collected from coastal marine waters affected by the Exxon Valdez oil spill. Estimated concentrations were within factors of 2 to 5 for fish and 5 to 10 for mussels of average total dissolved and particulate PAHs measured in concurrent water samples. Temporal trends of estimated and measured water?column PAH concentrations were comparable. Water?column PAH concentrations estimated from residues in tissues of mussels (Mytilus trossulus) were higher than estimates based on residues in tissues of juvenile pink salmon (Oncorhynchus gorbuscha). Possible reasons for this difference include seasonal variations in mussel lipid content, differences in PAH uptake and depuration rates between fish and mussels, differences in how fish and mussels interact with particulate oil, and possible short exposure times for juvenile pink salmon. All of these factors may play a role. In any event, estimates of dissolved PAHs in the water column, based on PAH residues in either fish or mussel tissue, confirm that PAH concentrations generally did not exceed water quality standards for protection of marine life.

Publisher - Wiley Interscience

Subjects - Chemical, Polycyclic Aromatic Hydrocarbons (PAH); Bioconcentration


Citation: Neff JM, Burns WA. 1996. Estimation of Polycyclic Aromatic Hydrocarbon Concentrations in the Water Column Based on Tissue Residues in Mussels and Salmon: An Equilibrium Partitioning Approach. Environ. Toxicol. Chem.; 15(12):2240-2253 http://dx.doi.org/10.1002/etc.5620151218