Assimilation efficiency of sediment‐bound PCBs ingested by fish impacted by strong sorption
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Assimilation efficiency of sediment‐bound PCBs ingested by fish impacted by strong sorption

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  • Journal Title:
    Environmental Toxicology and Chemistry
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    Uptake of polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs) by fish is controlled by the bioavailability of ingested PCBs in the gut and the freely dissolved concentration in the water moving across the gills. The prediction of bioaccumulation in fish relies on models that account for these exposure routes; however, these models typically do not account for incidental ingestion of sediment by fish, which is not well studied. The literature values for the PCB assimilation efficiency in the gut have been reported for compounds in food matrices and not associated with sediment particles. It is also unclear how mitigation strategies that alter PCB bioavailability in sediments affect predictions made by the bioaccumulation models when sediment ingestion is involved. To test the bioavailability of PCBs from treated and untreated sediments, dietary assimilation efficiencies were measured for 16 PCB congeners in mummichogs (Fundulus heteroclitus) that were fed 4 experimental diets. Diets consisted of PCB‐spiked earthworms, spiked untreated sediment mixed with earthworms, spiked activated carbon‐treated sediment mixed with earthworms, and spiked activated carbon mixed with earthworms. Assimilation efficiencies were determined by calculating the ratio of PCB mass in the fish tissue to the PCB mass in the food after a pulse feeding experiment. Assimilation efficiencies of PCBs associated with earthworm diet were similar to the values reported in the literature. Fish that were fed the PCB‐spiked untreated sediment and activated carbon particles exhibited the highest and lowest assimilation efficiencies, respectively, over a wide KOW range. Assimilation efficiencies of sediment‐bound PCBs were significantly reduced (31–93% reduction for different congeners) after amendment with activated carbon. The present study indicates that assimilation of PCBs can be reduced by sorption to black carbon. Environ Toxicol Chem 2017;36:3480–3488. © 2017 SETAC
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    Environmental Toxicology and Chemistry, 36(12), 3480-3488
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