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Polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons, polychlorinated biphenyls, and metals in ambient sediment at mussel biomonitoring sites, Puget Sound, Washington

August 20, 2019

Caged mussels used as biomonitors can provide insights about ambient contaminant assemblages and spatial patterns, sources of contaminants, and contaminant exposure risks for consumers of wild and farmed mussels. This study explored the potential role of ambient sediment in the uptake of polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs), polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs), and potentially toxic inorganic elements by caged mussels and complements findings from a Puget Sound-wide stormwater-contaminant mussel-monitoring survey in Washington State. In summary, ambient sediment appeared to be related to mussel uptake of lead and possibly copper at all sites, PCBs at industrial sites, and PAHs at Liberty Bay, Eagle Harbor, and, to a lesser extent, Smith Cove. These findings indicate that resuspended bed sediment is one, but not the only, pathway that filter-feeding mussels are exposed to contaminants. Overall, PAHs, PCBs, arsenic, and potentially toxic metals were low in intertidal bed sediment at the nine sites measured in Puget Sound in February 2016 and signify a low risk of sediment-bound contaminant exposure to mussels at those locations.

Citation Information

Publication Year 2019
Title Polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons, polychlorinated biphenyls, and metals in ambient sediment at mussel biomonitoring sites, Puget Sound, Washington
DOI 10.3133/ofr20191087
Authors Renee K. Takesue, Pamela L. Campbell‐Swarzenski, Kathleen E. Conn
Publication Type Report
Publication Subtype USGS Numbered Series
Series Title Open-File Report
Series Number 2019-1087
Index ID ofr20191087
Record Source USGS Publications Warehouse
USGS Organization Pacific Coastal and Marine Science Center