Polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons in oysters and sediments from the Yatsushiro Sea, Japan: comparison of potential risks among PAHs, dioxins and dioxin-like compounds in benthic organisms

Haruhiko Nakata, Kiriko Uehara, Yuta Goto, Miki Fukumura, Hideyuki Shimasaki, Kiyoshi Takikawa, Takashi Miyawaki
Ecotoxicology and Environmental Safety 2014, 99: 61-8
Polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs) were analyzed in oysters collected from 18 stations in the Yatsushiro Sea, western Japan. PAHs were detected in all samples analyzed, and the highest concentration (mean 230 ng/g wet weight) was found in oysters from Tanoura Bay. The high molecular weight PAHs to low molecular weight PAHs ratios in oysters from Tanoura Bay were higher than at other stations. Sediment samples collected from 42 stations in Tanoura Bay were analyzed for PAHs to understand their concentrations and distribution. Higher concentrations were found in sediment samples at two stations in the southern inner bay (mean 30,200 ng/g dry weight), which were approximately two orders of magnitude higher than at a reference site. These observations strongly suggest severe contamination and significant sources of PAHs in Tanoura Bay. Dioxins and dioxin-like compounds (PCDFs, and non- and mono-ortho coplanar PCBs) were analyzed in sediments from eight stations in Tanoura Bay. The concentrations were comparable to, or lower than, at the reference sites, suggesting that there are no specific sources of these compounds in this bay. PAH, dioxins and dioxin-like compounds DR-CALUX relative potencies (REP) were applied to the sediment concentrations to evaluate the potential for toxicological effects on benthic organisms. PAHs made the highest contribution to the total REP concentration, supplying 99% of the total REP, followed by PCDDs (0.18%), PCDFs (0.04%), and PCBs (<0.001%). In this area, PAHs appear to be the most important Ah receptor binding chemicals for potential toxicity to benthic species.

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