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P. Baumard, H. Budzinski and P. Garrigues (1998)

Polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons in sediments and mussels of the western Mediterranean sea

Environmental Toxicology and Chemistry, 17(5):765-776.

The distribution of polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs) has been investigated in superficial sediments and mussels (Mytilus galloprovincialis) of the western Mediterranean sea (French Riviera, Corsica, Sardinia). The analyses were performed by gas chromatography coupled to mass spectrometry (GC-MS). The PAH concentrations ranged from 1 to 20,500 ng/g in the sediments. Different molecular indices allowed differentiation between the different pollutant sources. On the French coast, PAHs originated mainly from incomplete combustion of organic matter (pyrolytic origin), whereas for some sites in Corsica and Sardinia an overimposition of petrogenic PAHs occurred. The mussel PAH concentrations ranged from 25 to 390 ng/g. The total and individual PAH bioaccumulation factors were calculated. The correlation between sediment and mussel PAH content was discussed in terms of bioavailability. It was possible to distinguish different absorption routes for the xenobiotics according to their physicochemical properties. Because the mussel distribution of phenanthrene and anthracene seems to be governed by their water solubility, these compounds were probably mainly absorbed as the water-dissolved form, whereas the heavier molecular weight PAHs (more than four aromatic rings), whose sediment and mussel concentrations are correlated with higher correlation coefficients than for phenanthrene and anthracene, were probably mainly absorbed as adsorbed on particles. Furthermore, a possible preferential biotransformation of benzo[a]pyrene over benzo[e]pyrene is discussed.

origin, organic contaminants, rhone delta, sediments, mussels, water, polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons, biomonitoring, mytilus-edulis, samples, pah, effluents, bioaccumulation, accumulation


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