JOURNAL ARTICLE

Accumulation trends of petroleum hydrocarbons in commercial shellfish from the Galician coast (NW Spain) affected by the Prestige oil spill

L Viñas, M A Franco, J A Soriano, J J González, L Ortiz, J M Bayona, J Albaigés
Chemosphere 2009, 75 (4): 534-41
19150729
Aliphatic and aromatic hydrocarbons were determined in three species of commercial shellfish, namely razor shells (Ensis arcuatus and Ensis siliqua), goose barnacle (Pollicipes cornucopia) and sea urchin (Paracentrotus lividus), living in different habitats and exhibiting different feeding behaviors. The samples were collected monthly, from January 2003 to October 2004, in three stations of the Galicia coast (NW Spain), following the Prestige oil spill, with the aim of assessing their response to the spill and, therefore, their suitability for monitoring purposes. The aliphatic fractions were mostly dominated by biogenic hydrocarbons, reflecting the diet composition of the organisms and their low metabolic capacity. The presence of oil was assessed by the determination of chemical markers. The analysis of the aromatic fractions revealed the occurrence of 3-6 ring parent and alkylated PAHs, consistent with a mixed petrogenic-pyrolytic origin, with the common feature of the predominance of chrysene in all samples collected after the spill. However, the distributions exhibited both temporal and interspecies variations. The PAH concentrations (Sigma13) increased significantly after the spill and decreased 6-7 months later close to background levels for the region. One year after the accident, the median values were: 58 microg/kg for razor shells, 26 microg/kg for barnacles, and 25 microg/kg for sea urchins. The temporal evolution of the PAH concentrations along the survey period was used to estimate loss rates for bioavailable PAHs in barnacles and sea urchins after the spill. Half-life values were in the order of 30 and 60 d, respectively. The results of the study demonstrate that barnacles can be suitable species for oil spill monitoring.

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