For more information on species & ecosystem science:

Wildlife Science
360-902-2515
wildthing@dfw.wa.gov

Fish Science
360-902-2700
fishpgm@dfw.wa.gov

Habitat Science
360-902-2534
habitatprogram@dfw.wa.gov

 

Marine Toxic Contaminants

Contaminants Monitored

Fish and Wildlife monitors the levels of poly-chlorinated biphenyls (PCBs)1, some chlorinated pesticides, mercury, and lead in the edible muscle tissue, liver, or whole bodies of fish and crabs. For fish, we assess exposure to polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs)2 by monitoring the levels of PAH metabolites3 in the fishes' bile. Insufficient funding is available to monitor dioxins, alkyl phenols and organotins.  The following table lists the  chemicals currently monitored and the detection methods used.  Historically, we monitored for the presence of over 100 compounds but have discontinued monitoring for compounds not usually detected in the biota or detectable compounds that may not reflect environmental conditions (e.g., arsenic and copper). 

Contaminants Currently Monitored

Assay Group

Assay

Lab Method 4

Comments

Bile FACs   (PAH metabolites)

benzo(a)pyrene FAC

HPLC/UVF

 

Naphthalene FAC

 

Phenanthrene FAC

 

Chlorinated Aromatic Hydrocarbons

hexachlorobenzene

HPLC/PDA

 

Conventionals

Lipids

Grav-Hex

 

Protein

Plate Spec

 

Solids

Dry Wt

 

Metals

Mercury

CVAA

total mercury

Lead

GFAA

 

PCB Congeners 5

PCB101

HPLC/PDA

 

PCB105

PCB110

PCB118

PCB126

PCB128

PCB138

PCB153

PCB156

PCB157

PCB169

PCB170

PCB180

PCB189

PCB77

Total PCB

Pesticides

opDDD

HPLC/PDA

 

opDDT

ppDDD

ppDDE

ppDDT

Total DDT

 


  1. A group of organic compounds. PCB's are highly toxic to aquatic life. They persist in the environment for long periods of time, and they are bioaccumulants.
  2. A class of chemicals typically formed by burning and common in the environment. PAHs are also common to petroleum products and oil. Although most of these compounds are harmless or mildly toxic, some are carcinogenic.
  3. Any intermediate or product resulting from metabolism.
  4. HPLC/UVF - high performance liquid chromatography, ultraviolet fluorescence
    HPLC/PDA - high performance liquid chromatography, photodiode array
    Grav-Hex - gravimetric analysis of extracted lipids using hexane solvent
    Plate Spec - plate spectrophotometry (microtiter)
    CVAA - cold vapor atomic absorption
    GFAA -  graphite furnace atomic absorption
  5. 1. A member of the same kind, class, or group.  2. A substance literally con- (with) generated or synthesized by essentially the same synthetic chemical reactions and the same procedures.