Science Inventory

Fish tissue contamination in the mid-continental great rivers of the United States

Citation:

BLOCKSOM, K. A., J. M. LAZORCHAK, DAVID M. WALTERS, T. M. JICHA, T. R. ANGRADI, AND D. W. BOLGRIEN. Fish tissue contamination in the mid-continental great rivers of the United States. Presented at SWIMS Conference, Chicago, IL, February 09 - 11, 2009.

Impact/Purpose:

The goal of this research is to develop methods and indicators that are useful for evaluating the condition of aquatic communities, for assessing the restoration of aquatic communities in response to mitigation and best management practices, and for determining the exposure of aquatic communities to different classes of stressors (i.e., pesticides, sedimentation, habitat alteration).

Description:

The great rivers of the central United States (Upper Mississippi, Missouri and Ohio rivers) are significant economic and cultural resources, but their ecological condition is not well quantified. The Environmental Monitoring and Assessment Program for Great River Ecosystems (EMAP-GRE) was designed to provide a broad-scale assessment of each river. Fish tissue contamination was measured to estimate human and wildlife exposure risks to persistent organic pollutants through fish consumption. The emerging contaminants polybrominated diphenyl ethers (PBDEs) were measured as a baseline for future studies. Polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs), PBDEs, and dichlorodiphenyltrichloroethane (DDT) were detectedin most fish tissue samples. Dieldrin and PCBs at tissue concentrations above human screening values (SVs) for cancer risk occurred 27-54% and 16-98%, respectively, of the great rivers (by length). Chlordane exceeded wildlife risk values for kingfishers in 11-96% of river km, to the greatest extent in the Ohio River. PBDE concentrations were highest in large fish in the Missouri and Ohio rivers. The extent of these persistent compounds in the three great rivers indicates widespread contaminationn of fish with exposure risk implications for humans and wildlife in the central United States.

Record Details:

Record Type: DOCUMENT (PRESENTATION/SLIDE)
Product Published Date: 02/10/2009
Record Last Revised: 09/24/2009
OMB Category: Other
Record ID: 204343

Organization:

U.S. ENVIRONMENTAL PROTECTION AGENCY

OFFICE OF RESEARCH AND DEVELOPMENT

NATIONAL EXPOSURE RESEARCH LABORATORY

ECOLOGICAL EXPOSURE RESEARCH DIVISION

ECOSYSTEMS RESEARCH BRANCH