The blue mussel (Mytilus sp.) has been used to assess the potential biological effects of the discharge effluent from the Omya Hustadmarmor mine, which releases its tailings into the Frænfjord near Molde, Norway. Chemical body burden and a suite of biological effects markers were measured in mussels positioned for 8?weeks at known distances from the discharge outlet. The biomarkers used included: condition index (CI); stress on stress (SoS); micronuclei formation (MN); acetylcholine esterase (AChE) inhibition, lipid peroxidation (LPO) and Neutral lipid (NL) accumulation. Methyl triethanol ammonium (MTA), a chemical marker for the esterquat based flotation chemical (FLOT2015), known to be used at the mine, was detected in mussels positioned 1500?m and 2000?m downstream from the discharge outlet. Overall the biological responses indicated an increased level of stress in mussels located closest to the discharge outlet. The same biomarkers (MN, SoS, NL) were responsible for the integrated biological response (IBR/n) of the two closest stations and indicates a response to a common point source. The integrated biological response index (IBR/n) reflected the expected level of exposure to the mine effluent, with the highest IBR/n calculated in mussels positioned closest to the discharge. Principal component analysis (PCA) also showed a clear separation between the mussel groups, with the most stressed mussels located closest to the mine tailing outlet. Although not one chemical factor could explain the increased stress on the mussels, highest metal (As, Co, Ni, Cd, Zn, Ag, Cu, Fe) and MTA concentrations were detected in the mussel group located closest to the mine discharge.
An environmental risk assessment is presented for the 25 most used pharmaceuticals in the primary health sector in Denmark. Predicted environmental concentrations (PECs) for the aquatic environment were calculated using conservative assumptions and all PECs exceeded 1 ng/l. Measured concentrations were in general within a factor of 2-5 of PECs and ranged from approximately 0.5 ng/l to 3 micrograms/l for nine of the pharmaceuticals reported in literature. The calculation of predicted no-effect concentration (PNEC) based on aquatic ecotoxicity data was possible for six of the pharmaceuticals. PEC/PNEC ratio exceeded one for ibuprofen, acetylsalicylic acid, and paracetamol. For estrogens the PEC/PNEC ratio approached one when non-standard test was used. The ratio was below one for estrogens (standard test), diazepam and digoxin. For the terrestrial compartment, toxicity data were not available, and no assessment was carried out. Comparisons of predicted concentrations of furosemide, ibuprofen, oxytetracycline and ciprofloxacin in sludge based on either preliminary experimental sludge-water partition coefficients (Kd), octanol-water coefficients (Kow) or acid-base constants (pKa) revealed large variations.
Persistent organochlorine compounds and mercury (Hg) have been detected in numerous coastal organisms of the Aleutian archipelago of Alaska, yet sources of these contaminants are unclear. We collected glaucous-winged gulls, northern fulmars, and tufted puffins along a natural longitudinal gradient across the western and central Aleutian Islands (Buldir, Kiska, Amchitka, Adak), and an additional 8 seabird species representing different foraging and migratory guilds from Buldir Island to evaluate: 1) point source input from former military installations, 2) westward increases in contaminant concentrations suggestive of distant source input, and 3) effects of trophic status (delta15N) and carbon source (delta13C) on contaminant accumulation. Concentrations of Sigma polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs) and most chlorinated pesticides in glaucous-winged gulls consistently exhibited a 'U'-shaped pattern of high levels at Buldir and the east side of Adak and low levels at Kiska and Amchitka. In contrast, concentrations of Sigma PCBs and chlorinated pesticides in northern fulmars and tufted puffins did not differ among islands. Hg concentrations increased westward in glaucous-winged gulls and were highest in northern fulmars from Buldir. Among species collected only at Buldir, Hg was notably elevated in pelagic cormorants, and relatively high Sigma PCBs were detected in black-legged kittiwakes. Concentrations of Sigma PCBs, dichlorodiphenyldichloroethylene (p,p' DDE), and Hg were positively correlated with delta15N across all seabird species, indicating biomagnification across trophic levels. The east side of Adak Island (a former military installation) was a likely point source of Sigma PCBs and p,p' DDE, particularly in glaucous-winged gulls. In contrast, elevated levels of these contaminants and Hg, along with PCB congener and chlorinated pesticide compositional patterns detected at Buldir Island indicated exposure from distant sources influenced by a combination of atmospheric-oceanic processes and the migratory movements of seabirds.
Concentrations of total mercury (T-Hg) and methylmercury (MeHg) were measured in zooplankton and 13 fish species from a coastal food web of the Gulf of Oman, an arm of the Arabian Sea between Oman and Iran. Stable isotope ratios (delta13C and delta15N) also were determined to track mercury biomagnification. The average concentration of T-Hg in zooplankton was 21 +/- 8.0 ng g(-1) with MeHg accounting 10% of T-Hg. Total mercury levels in fish species ranged from 3.0 ng g(-1) (Sardinella longiceps) to 760 ng g(-1) (Rhizoprionodon acutus) with relatively lower fraction of MeHg (72%) than that found in other studies. The average trophic difference (Deltadelta13C) between zooplankton and planktivorous fish (Selar crumenopthalmus, Rastrelliger kanagurta, and S. longiceps) was higher (3.4 per thousandth) than expected, suggesting that zooplankton may not be the main diet or direct carbon source for these fish species. However, further sampling would be required to compensate for temporal changes in zooplankton and the influence of their lipid content. Trophic position inferred by delta15N and and slopes of the regression equations (log10[T-Hg] = 0.13[delta15N] - 3.57 and log10[MeHg] = 0.14[delta15N] - 3.90) as estimates of biomagnification indicate that biomagnification of T-Hg and MeHg was lower in this tropical ocean compared to what has been observed in arctic and temperate ecosystems and tropical African lakes. The calculated daily intake of methylmercury in the diet of local people through fish consumption was well below the established World Health Organization (WHO) tolerable daily intake threshold for most of the fish species except Euthynnus affinis, Epinephelus epistictus, R. acutus, and Thunnus tonggol, illustrating safe consumption of the commonly consumed fish species.
A consistent methodology for assessing the accumulating effects of natural and manmade change on riverine systems has not been developed for a whole host of reasons including a lack of data, disagreement over core elements to consider, and complexity. Accumulated state assessments of aquatic systems is an integral component of watershed cumulative effects assessment. The Yukon River is the largest free flowing river in the world and is the fourth largest drainage basin in North America, draining 855,000 km(2) in Canada and the United States. Because of its remote location, it is considered pristine but little is known about its cumulative state. This review identified 7 "hot spot" areas in the Yukon River Basin including Lake Laberge, Yukon River at Dawson City, the Charley and Yukon River confluence, Porcupine and Yukon River confluence, Yukon River at the Dalton Highway Bridge, Tolovana River near Tolovana, and Tanana River at Fairbanks. Climate change, natural stressors, and anthropogenic stresses have resulted in accumulating changes including measurable levels of contaminants in surface waters and fish tissues, fish and human disease, changes in surface hydrology, as well as shifts in biogeochemical loads. This article is the first integrated accumulated state assessment for the Yukon River basin based on a literature review. It is the first part of a 2-part series. The second article (Dubé et al. 2013a, this issue) is a quantitative accumulated state assessment of the Yukon River Basin where hot spots and hot moments are assessed outside of a "normal" range of variability.
There are rich deposits of mineral and fossil natural resources in the Arctic, which make this region very attractive for extracting industries. Their operations have immediate and vast consequences for ecological systems, which are particularly vulnerable in this region. We are developing a management strategy for Arctic watersheds impacted by industrial production. The case study is Lake Imandra watershed (Murmansk oblast, Russia) that has exceptionally high levels of economic development and large numbers of people living there. We track the impacts of toxic pollution on ecosystem health and then--human health. Three periods are identified: (a) natural, pre-industrial state; (b) disturbed, under rapid economic development; and (c) partial recovery, during recent economic meltdown. The ecosystem is shown to transform into a qualitatively new state, which is still different from the original natural state, even after toxic loadings have substantially decreased. Fish disease where analyzed to produce and integral evaluation of ecosystem health. Accumulation of heavy metals in fish is correlated with etiology of many diseases. Dose-effect relationships are between integral water quality indices and ecosystem health indicators clearly demonstrates that existing water quality standards adopted in Russia are inadequate for Arctic regions. Health was also poor for people drinking water from the Lake. Transport of heavy metals from drinking water, into human organs, and their effect on liver and kidney diseases shows the close connection between ecosystem and human health. A management system is outlined that is based on feedback from indices of ecosystem and human health and control over economic production and/or the amount of toxic loading produced. We argue that prospects for implementation of such a system are quite bleak at this time, and that more likely we will see a continued depopulation of these Northern regions.