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Thirty years of persistent bioaccumulative toxics in Puget Sound: time trends of PCBs and PBDE flame retardants in three fish species

Category: Fish/Shellfish Research and Management - Fish/Shellfish Research

Date Published:  2007

Number of Pages: 6

Author(s): West, James, E. and O’Neill, Sandra M

INTRODUCTION:

Polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs) are a well known class of persistent bioaccumulative toxics (PBTs) that have been studied in the Puget Sound ecosystem for the past 30 years. The Puget Sound Assessment and Monitoring Program (PSAMP) has tracked PCBs in a benthic (bottom-dwelling) flatfish (English sole) from 1992 to present, and in two pelagic species (coho salmon and Pacific herring) since 1992 and 1999, respectively.

In order to better understand the fate and transport of PCBs in the Puget Sound ecosystem, and to assess the recent trends we have observed in PSAMP monitoring within a larger historical context, we combined and analyzed PSAMP monitoring data with a number of previously published studies and unpublished data dating back to 1975. This has allowed us, in a few cases, to assess trends in PCBs for a 30 year time period in Puget Sound.

In addition, we analyzed archived and recent samples of Pacific herring for flame retardant chemicals known as polybrominated diphenylethers, a more recent PBT in the Puget Sound ecosystem.

Suggested Citation:
West, J.E., and S.M. O'Neill. 2007. Thirty years of persistent bioaccumulative toxics in Puget Sound: time trends of PCBs and PBDE flame retardants in three fish species. 2007 Research in the Georgia Basin and Puget Sound Conference. Puget Sound Action Team. Vancouver, B.C.