JOURNAL ARTICLE

Retrospective monitoring of persistent organic pollutants, including PCBs, PBDEs, and polycyclic musks in blue mussels (Mytilus edulis) and sediments from New Bedford Harbor, Massachusetts, USA: 1991-2005

Bikram Subedi, Sehun Yun, Saro Jayaraman, Barbara J Bergen, Kurunthachalam Kannan
Environmental Monitoring and Assessment 2014, 186 (8): 5273-84
24781305
Blue mussels (Mytilus edulis) and sediments collected from 1991 to 2005 from New Bedford Harbor (NBH), MA, were analyzed for two polycyclic musks (HHCB or Galaxolide® and AHTN or Tonalide®), polybrominated diphenyl ethers (PBDEs), polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs), polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs), and organochlorine pesticides (OCPs). HHCB and AHTN were found in mussel tissues at mean concentrations of 836 and 376 ng/g lipid weight (lw), respectively, which were two- to seven-fold higher than those found at a reference site. Mean concentrations of HHCB and AHTN in NBH sediments were 12 and 6.3 ng/g dry weight (dw), respectively. Four- and five-ringed PAHs, such as phenanthrene, anthracene, fluoranthene, and pyrene, collectively accounted for 61 % of the ∑PAHs concentrations in mussels from NBH. Mean ΣPCB concentrations in mussels from upper and lower NBH were 942 and 182 μg/g lw, respectively, and were dominated by tetra- and penta-chlorobiphenyl congeners, collectively accounting for 61 % of the ΣPCB concentrations. The mean concentration of ∑PBDEs in mussels from NBH was 277 ng/g lw, and no significant difference existed in the concentrations between upper and lower NBH. DDTs were the major OCP found in mussels, found at a mean concentration of 778 ng/g lw. The concentrations of HHCB, AHTN, ΣPBDEs, ΣPAHs, and DDTs in mussels decreased significantly (r (2) ≥ 0.56, p ≤ 0.052) from 1991 to 2005. The concentrations of PCBs and chlordanes did not exhibit a decreasing trend in mussel tissues (r (2) < 0.50; p > 0.076) from 1991 to 2005. Based on the temporal trends in the concentrations of HHCB, AHTN, ∑PAHs, and ∑PBDEs found in mussels from NBH, it was estimated that between 5.5 and 12 years were required for the concentrations of these compounds to decrease by half (i.e., environmental halving time) of the levels found in 1991.

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