Quality Assurance Project Plan: Chemicals of Emerging Concern in Puget Sound English sole (Parophrys vetulus): exposure to and effects of selected xenoestrogens and pharmaceuticals

Category: Fish/Shellfish Research

Published: July 2014

Pages: 58

Author(s): Sandra M. O’Neill, Jose M. Guzmán, Penny Swanson, Adam Lukenbach, Denis da Silva, Gina M. Ylitalo, Irvin R. Schultz, Lyndal L. Johnson, Edward Hayman, Laurie Niewolny, and James E. West


This project provides a Sound-wide assessment of the presence and biological impact of selected Chemicals of Emerging Concern (CECs) in English sole (Parophrys vetulus), an important indicator species for toxics monitoring in Puget Sound. This project leverages assets from an ongoing, long-term toxics monitoring program (Puget Sound Ecosystem Monitoring Program) with regional laboratories developing cutting-edge ecotoxicology techniques (NOAA’s Northwest Fisheries Science Center and Battelle’s Pacific Northwest National Laboratory). Objectives of the project are twofold: (a) develop analytical methods for, and provide a current evaluation of the extent and magnitude of, CEC contamination in English sole for two major classes of CECs, and (b) develop cost-effective bioeffects endpoints for these CECs. The two major classes of CECs are; estrogenic chemicals (ECs), including three natural estrogens (17β-estradiol estrone, and estriol) and four xenoestrogenic compounds (17α-ethynylestradiol, bisphenol A, nonylphenol and octylphenol); and three selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs) that may amplify the effects of ECs (fluoxetine, sertraline and citalopram). The ultimate goal of this project is to provide Puget Sound recovery targets based on CEC-related health endpoints in indicator species, as well as CEC tools for monitoring Puget Sound ecosystem health. Study objectives are to (1) provide data on ECs and SSRIs, in organism tissues via a Puget Sound-wide reconnaissance survey of English sole and (2) develop a method for measuring vitellogenin (VTG) induction, a widely accepted biological indicator of EC exposure. Establishing VTG induction as a monitoring tool for English sole will fill a critical gap in the Puget Sound Partnership’s Toxics in Fish Vital Sign. Combining results from this project with existing PSEMP efforts to monitor a wide range of other contaminants will provide a balanced perspective for prioritizing contaminant-related recovery efforts in Puget Sound.