Polychlorinated biphenyls and metals in marine species from French Frigate Shoals, North Pacific Ocean

X S Miao, C Swenson, K Yanagihara, Q X Li
Archives of Environmental Contamination and Toxicology 2000, 38 (4): 464-71
Polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs) and metals were analyzed in coral (Porites lobata), fish (Stegastes fasciolatus), crab (Grapsus tenuicrustatus), and sediment samples collected from Tern Island, and the reference samples from Trig and La Perouse Islands. All three islands are part of French Frigate Shoals, a national wildlife refuge in the North Pacific Ocean. Average concentrations of total PCBs ranged from 154 to 274 ng/g in the sediments, from 120 to 267 ng/g in the corals, from 387 to 4,500 ng/g in the crabs, and 1,340 to 46,000 ng/g, dry weight, in the fishes. High concentrations in marine species indicate there is PCB source(s) in French Frigate Shoals, especially Tern Island. Tetra- and pentachlorobiphenyls were 64-66% of the total PCB levels in the sediments, and they accounted for 57-65% of total PCBs in the corals. Penta- and hexachlorobiphenyls were 76-84% of total PCBs in the fishes, and they accounted for 79-85% in the crab samples. The sediment and coral were predominated by lower chlorinated PCB congeners, whereas the fish and crab bioaccumulated mainly higher chlorinated congeners. Selenium concentrations (16-23 microg/g) in sediments were much higher than some reported baseline values (0.4-2.5 microg/g). The average concentrations of arsenic, cadmium, lead, and selenium in the coral and fish were about equal to or less than those in the sediments. Concentrations of arsenic and cadmium in the crabs (49-51 and 3-4 microg/g, respectively) were approximately twofold of those in the sediments.

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