Polybrominated diphenyl ethers (PBDEs) are highly lipophilic components of brominated flame retardants that are environmentally persistent and bioaccumulate. PBDEs are taken up from the gastrointestinal tract and accumulate mainly in fat depots and liver tissues. Seal species inhabiting Arctic and sub-Arctic regions can have upwards of 30% of their body mass composed of blubber. When those blubber stores are mobilized for energy, stored toxicants are also released into circulation. Most studies reporting accumulation of PBDEs in seals have focused on harbor and grey seals with few examining harp and hooded seals. In this study, PBDEs concentrations were analyzed in seal blubber from 21 stranded harp and 9 stranded hooded seals sampled along the northeast coast of the U.S. (1999-2010). A PBDE congener profile was determined for each individual. The results show that both species of seals are accumulating PBDEs with BDE-47 being the dominant congener. Mean ?PBDE concentrations in harp seals were 70.55?±?33.59?ng/g ww and for hooded seals 94.28?±?42.65?ng/g ww. The results of this study are consistent with previous studies reporting a decrease in bioaccumulation with an increase in bromination. For both species, BDE-47 represented the highest percentage of the ?PBDEs, composing over 50% of the ?PBDEs in harp seals. When compared to stranding condition code, animals found alive had overall higher PBDE concentrations than those found in a state of moderate decomposition. This difference could be due to decreased blubber levels in the decomposed animals or potential degradation of the compounds in the blubber. Almost all seals used in this study were yearlings which is the most likely age class to strand. Yearling seals are at a crucial stage of development, especially of their immune system, which can be impacted by high levels of contaminants like PBDEs and increase the susceptibility to disease.
Mussels (Mytilus trossulus) were caged along a known pollution gradient in the inner Archipelago Sea (northern Baltic Sea) and retrieved after 71 and 121 d for the measurement of selected chemical contaminants in tissues and biological endpoints including biochemical biomarkers and growth. Additional samples were collected during the growth season from a native mussel population at an alleged reference site. Elevated concentrations of numerous contaminants (e.g., PAH) were observed in spring, apparently due to the loss of tissue mass during the winter, while also the levels of many biomarkers (e.g., glutathione S-transferase activity) were elevated. Spatial and temporal changes in the accumulation of contaminants and biological parameters were observed with some of them (e.g., growth) linked to seasonal changes in environmental factors. The results underline the importance of understanding the effects of seasonal natural factors on the growth dynamics and general condition of mussels when assessing tissue concentrations of contaminants and biological effects.
In the eutrophicated Baltic Sea, several naturally produced hydroxylated polybrominated diphenyl ethers (OH-PBDEs) have been found in marine biota. OH-PBDEs are toxic to adult and developing zebrafish and shown to be potent disruptors of oxidative phosphorylation (OXPHOS). Disturbed OXPHOS can result in altered energy metabolism and weight loss. In herring, the concentration of OH-PBDEs (i.e. 2'-OH-BDE68 and 6-OH-BDE47) has increased during the period 1980-2010 in the Baltic Proper. Over the same time period, the condition and fat content in Baltic herring have decreased. Given the toxicity and increasing trends of OH-PBDEs in Baltic herring it is important to further assess the exposure to OH-PBDEs in Baltic herring. In this study, the concentrations of OH-PBDEs and related brominated substances i.e. polybrominated phenols (PBPs), polybrominated anisoles (PBAs), methoxylated polybrominated diphenyl ethers (MeO-PBDEs) and polybrominated diphenyl ethers (PBDEs) were measured in herring sampled in the northern Baltic Proper (Askö, n = 12) and the southern Bothnian Sea (Ängskärsklubb, n = 12). The geometric mean (GM) concentrations (ng/g l.w.) at Askö and Ängskärsklubb were; S2PBPs: 4.3 and 9.6, S(2)PBAs: 34 and 20, S(6)OH-PBDEs: 9.4 and 10, S(7)MeO-PBDEs: 42 and 150, S(6)PBDEs: 54 and 27, respectively. 6-OH-BDE47 dominated the OH-PBDE profile and comprised 87% (Askö) and 91% (Ängskärsklubb) of the SOH-PBDEs. At Ängskärsklubb the mean concentration of SMeO-PBDEs (150 ng/g l.w.) was 15 times higher than SOH-PBDEs. As other fish species are known to metabolically transform MeO-PBDEs to OH-PBDEs, high levels of MeO-PBDEs can be of concern as a precursor for more toxic OH-PBDEs in herring and their roe.
Aquatic taste and odor (T/O) is rarely produced by toxic contaminants or pathogens; nevertheless, it has major negative impacts on the public and the drinking-water industry. Consumers use T/O as a primary measure of drinking water safety, yet this criterion is poorly understood, and its origins and triggers often go untraced. Much surface-water T/O is produced by the increased production of volatile organic compounds (VOCs) by algae. These chemicals can be symptomatic of short-term problems with source, treatment, or distribution systems. At a broader level, they can signify fundamental changes in aquatic ecosystems induced by human activity. T/O varies in chemistry, intensity, and production patterns among different algal taxa, and is often linked with excessive algal growth and/or the invasion of noxious species. Some VOCs may signal the presence of potentially toxic algae and/or other associated water quality issues. Traditionally, T/O has been linked with the widespread eutrophication of many surface waters; however, there has been a recent growth in the number of T/O events reported in oligo-mesotrophic systems, for example, the Glenmore Reservoir (Calgary AB) and the Laurentian Great Lakes. From a management and public perspective, therefore, it is vitally important to monitor T/O, and to continue to work toward a better understanding of the proximal and the ultimate causes-which VOCs and algae species are involved. In the short term, odor events could be anticipated and water treatment optimized. In the long term, this approach would contribute toward more a robust management of this resource through remedial or preventative measures.
The susceptibility to arsenic (As)-induced diseases differs greatly between individuals, probably to a large extent due to genetic differences in arsenic metabolism. The aim for this study was to identify genetic variants affecting arsenic metabolism.
We evaluated the association between urinary metabolite pattern and polymorphisms in three gene-groups related to arsenic metabolism: (1) methyltransferases, (2) other genes involved in one-carbon metabolism and (3) genes involved in reduction reactions. Forty-nine polymorphisms were successfully genotyped in indigenous women (N=104) from northern Argentina, exposed to approximately 200 microg/L of arsenic in drinking water, with a unique metabolism with low percent monomethylated arsenic (%MMA) and high percent dimethylated As (%DMA).
Genetic factors affecting arsenic metabolite pattern included two polymorphisms in arsenic (+III) methyltransferase (AS3MT) (rs3740400, rs7085104), where carriers had lower %MMA and higher %DMA. These single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) were in strong linkage disequilibrium (LD) with three intronic AS3MT SNPs, previously reported to be associated with arsenic metabolism, indicating the existence of a strongly methylating, population-specific haplotype. The CYP17A1 rs743572, 27kilobasepairs (kbs) upstream of AS3MT, was in strong LD with the AS3MT SNPs and thus had similar effects on the metabolite profile. Smaller effects were also seen for one-carbon metabolism genes choline dehydrogenase (CHDH) (rs9001, rs7626693) and 5-methyltetrahydrofolate-homocysteine methyltransferase reductase (MTRR) (rs1801394) and genes involved in reduction reactions, glutaredoxin (GLRX) (rs3822751) and peroxiredoxin 2 (PRDX2) (rs10427027, rs12151144). Genotypes associated with more beneficial arsenic metabolite profile (low %MMA and/or high %DMA in urine) were more common in this population, which has been exposed to arsenic in drinking water for thousands of years.
Polymorphisms in AS3MT and in genes involved in one-carbon metabolism and reduction reactions affects arsenic metabolism.
For the last 2 decades, special attention has been paid to arsenic due to its high concentration in groundwater in many regions of the globe. There are not very many reports on arsenic concentration in the Finnish ecosystem, although the metal has been known to be highly toxic since ancient times. For the majority of people in Finland, the leading exposure route to arsenic is through food consumption. In this study, it has been observed that atmospheric emissions of arsenic from anthropogenic sources have decreased by 90%, which is due to better control technology and strict regulation. Aquatic discharge also was attenuated from 7.1 metric tons (t) in 1990 to 0.7 t in 1999. The concentration of arsenic aerosols in the atmosphere in Finland varies between 0.46 to 0.75 ng m(-3). Its use in pesticides and insecticides also has been phased out in Finland. There is no information available regarding arsenic species in the Finnish environment. Elevated concentrations of arsenic in groundwater has been reported for many countries. In Finland two hot spots are reported--one in the south of Finland and the second in Lapland. In these areas, arsenic concentration in well water is greater than 10 microg l(-1) (WHO recommended value:
Pharmaceuticals derived from manufacturing and human consumption contaminate surface waters worldwide. To what extent such pharmaceutical contamination accumulates and disperses over time in different compartments of aquatic food webs is not well known. In this study we assess to what extent five pharmaceuticals (diphenhydramine, oxazepam, trimethoprim, diclofenac, and hydroxyzine) are taken up by fish (European perch) and four aquatic invertebrate taxa (damselfly larvae, mayfly larvae, waterlouse, and ramshorn snail), by tracing their bioconcentrations over several months in a semi-natural large-scale (pond) system. The results suggest both significant differences among drugs in their capacity to bioaccumulate and differences among species in uptake. While no support for in situ uptake of diclofenac and trimethoprim was found, oxazepam, diphenhydramine, and hydroxyzine were detected in all analyzed species. Here, the highest bioaccumulation factor (tissue:water ratio) was found for hydroxyzine. In the food web, the highest concentrations were found in the benthic species ramshorn snail and waterlouse, indicating that bottom-living organism at lower trophic positions are the prime receivers of the pharmaceuticals. In general, concentrations in the biota decreased over time in response to decreasing water concentrations. However, two interesting exceptions to this trend were noted. First, mayfly larvae (primarily grazers) showed peak concentrations (a fourfold increase) of oxazepam, diphenhydramine, and hydroxyzine about 30days after initial addition of pharmaceuticals. Second, perch (top-predator) showed an increase in concentrations of oxazepam throughout the study period. Our results show that drugs can remain bioavailable for aquatic organism for long time periods (weeks to months) and even re-enter the food web at a later time. As such, for an understanding of accumulation and dispersion of pharmaceuticals in aquatic food webs, detailed ecological knowledge is required.
Aarhus University, Faculty of Science and Technology, Department of Bioscience, Arctic Research Centre, Frederiksborgvej 399, 4000 Roskilde, Denmark; Greenland Institute of Natural Resources, Department of Environment and Mineral Resources, Nuuk, Greenland. Electronic address: email@example.com.
Few ecotoxicological studies exist on the accumulation and effects of rare earth elements (REEs) in fish, particularly on Arctic species. In southwest Greenland, there are currently several advanced exploration REE mining projects. The aim of this study was to investigate accumulation of REEs in native fish species. Juvenile arctic chars, Salvelinus alpinus, were pulse-exposed to cerium (Ce), lanthanum (La) and yttrium (Y) using an in-situ flow-through system over a period of 15?days. Results showed that the arctic char accumulated most REEs in the gills > liver > muscle. We also demonstrated the ability of the arctic char to rapidly excrete the REEs throughout the experiment, where levels of post exposure accumulation also declined throughout the period. These results demonstrate the importance of further studies on accumulation of REE in the arctic char native to the site of future mining operations. Long-term exposure will most likely result in accumulation of REEs in arctic char, and the effects and accumulation patterns of this should be explored further.
Bocock Chair for Agriculture and the Environment, Department of Renewable Resources, University of Alberta, 348B South Academic Building, Edmonton, Alberta T6G 2H1, Canada. Electronic address: firstname.lastname@example.org.
Sci Total Environ. 2019 Feb 10; 650(Pt 2):2559-2566
It has been suggested that open pit mining and upgrading of bitumen in northern Alberta releases Tl and other potentially toxic elements to the Athabasca River and its watershed. We examined Tl and other trace elements in otoliths of Trout-perch (Percopsis omiscomaycus), a non-migratory fish species, collected along the Athabasca River. Otoliths were analyzed using ICP-QMS, following acid digestion, in the metal-free, ultraclean SWAMP laboratory. Compared to their average abundance in the dissolved (
Hospital wastewater represents a significant input of pharmaceuticals into municipal wastewater. As Moving Bed Biofilm Reactors (MBBRs) appear to remove organic micro-pollutants, hospital wastewater was treated with a pilot plant consisting of three MBBRs in series. The removal of pharmaceuticals was studied in two experiments: 1) A batch experiment where pharmaceuticals were spiked to each reactor and 2) a continuous flow experiment at native concentrations. DOC removal, nitrification as well as removal of pharmaceuticals (including X-ray contrast media, ß-blockers, analgesics and antibiotics) occurred mainly in the first reactor. In the batch experiment most of the compounds followed a single first-order kinetics degradation function, giving degradation rate constants ranged from 5.77 × 10(-3) to 4.07 h(-1), from -5.53 × 10(-3) to 9.24 × 10(-1) h(-1) and from 1.83 × 10(-3) to 2.42 × 10(-1) h(-1) for first, second and third reactor respectively. Generally, the highest removal rate constants were found in the first reactor while the lowest were found in the third one. This order was inverted for most compounds, when the removal rate constants were normalized to biomass, indicating that the last tank had the most effective biofilms. In the batch experiment, 21 out of 26 compounds were assessed to be degraded with more than 20% within the MBBR train. In the continuous flow experiment the measured removal rates were lower than those estimated from the batch experiments.