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Environ Sci Technol. 2004 Feb 15;38(4):976-83.

Spatial variation in hepatic levels and patterns of PCBs and PCDD/Fs among young-of-the-year and adult Atlantic tomcod (Microgadus tomcod) in the Hudson River estuary.

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  • 1Fisheries and Oceans Canada, Institute of Ocean Sciences, 9860 West Saanich Road, Sidney, British Columbia, V8L 4B2, Canada.


Full congener-specific polychorinated biphenyl (PCB) and partial-congener-specific polychorinated dibenzo-p-dioxin/furan (PCDD/F) analyses were performed on livers from young-of-the-year (YOY) and adult Atlantic tomcod from the Hudson River estuary including multiple sites along the main-stem Hudson River and Newark Bay/Hackensack River, NJ, and from a reference river, the Miramichi River, NB. Highest hepatic burdens of PCBs were found in fish collected in the main-stem Hudson River between river miles (RM) 37 and 50 and in Newark Bay/Hackensack River. By far, the highest concentrations of PCDD/Fs were seen in fish from Newark Bay/Hackensack River. The di- to tetrachlorinated biphenyls dominated the PCB composition in YOY tomcod, whereas the penta- to nonachlorinated biphenyls predominated in adults with particular prevalence of the 2,4,5-substituted diortho congeners. Overall, using a direct mixing model an aroclor composition of approximate 1:1:1, A1242:A1254:A1260, was calculated from the hepatic PCB profiles in YOY tomcod. A linear increase in A1242 characteristics with river mile was seen in YOY collected between RM 0 and RM 80, which was likely due to the well-characterized A1242 source from the former capacitor manufacturing plants located upriver. However, tomcod caught upstream of RM 80 exhibited a PCB pattern with decreasing A1242 characteristics, and it was hypothesized that this was due to the increased depuration or decreased uptake of low chlorinated (log K(OW) < 6) congeners upon entry of the fish into freshwater from brackish water. The most abundant tetra-octa PCDD/F chlorohomologue in tomcod collected from the main stem of the Hudson River was TCDF, whereas 2,3,7,8-TCDD was the major congener detected in tomcod from Newark Bay/Hackensack River, which showed elevated total PCDD/F levels compared to tomcod from the main-stem Hudson River.

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