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Environ Pollut. 1996;94(2):117-29.

Bioaccumulation of toxicants in the zebra mussel, Dreissena polymorpha, at the Times Beach Confined Disposal Facility, Buffalo, New York.

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Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University, Blacksburg, VA 24061, USA.


This study consisted of a site characterization followed by biomonitoring the zebra mussel, Dreissena polymorpha, at the Times Beach Confined Disposal Facility (CDF), located in Buffalo, New York. Concentrations of selected contaminants, polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs), polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs) and metals -arsenic (As), chromium (Cr), barium (Ba), mercury (Hg), cadmium (Cd), lead (Pb), selenium (Se) and silver (Ag)-were at or below detection limits in the water column. Sediment contaminant concentrations, recorded as dry weight, were as high as 549 mg/kg for total PAHs, 9 mg/kg for PCB Aroclor 1248 and 54, 99, 6, 355, 637 and 16 mg/kg for the metals As, Ba, Cd, Cr, Pb and Hg, respectively. To predict contaminant bioavailability, elutriate and whole sediment toxicity tests were performed utilizing the cladoceran, Daphnia magna. Whole sediment tests indicated significant impact. Control survival was 84%, while sediment treatment had survival ranging from 1 to 7%. Mean control reproduction was 86.8 neonates, whereas treatment reproduction ranged from 1.4 to 9.0. Zebra mussels placed both in the water column (Upper) and at the sediment level (Lower) survived the 34-day exposure. Contaminants that significantly accumulated in zebra mussel tissue (wet wt mg/kg) were total PAHs (6.58), fluoranthene (1.23), pyrene (1.08), chrysene (0.98), benzo(a)anthracene (0.60), PCB Aroclor 1248 (1.64), As (0.97), Cr (2.87) and Ba (7.00). Accumulation of these contaminants in zebra mussel tissue represent a potentially realistic hazard to organisms (i.e. fish and birds) that feed on them.


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