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The presence of EU priority substances mercury, hexachlorobenzene, hexachlorobutadiene and PBDEs in wild fish from four English rivers

Juergens, Monika D.; Johnson, Andrew C.; Jones, Kevin C.; Hughes, David; Lawlor, Alan J.. 2013 The presence of EU priority substances mercury, hexachlorobenzene, hexachlorobutadiene and PBDEs in wild fish from four English rivers. Science of the Total Environment, 461–462. 441-452. 10.1016/j.scitotenv.2013.05.007

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Abstract/Summary

Since 2007 about 200 to 300 fish per year - generally roach (Rutilus rutilus) also a few bleak (Alburnus alburnus) and eels (Anguilla anguilla)) - have been collected from a number of English river sites and stored at - 80°C to build up a Fish Tissue Archive as a resource for the monitoring of pollutants. Some of the fish from the Fish Tissue Archive from the years 2007-2011 were analyzed for substances in current and proposed European legislation regarding environmental quality standards (EQS) in biota. It was found that mercury exceeded the EU EQS of 20 µg/kg in 79 % of samples with an average and median of 31 and 29 µg/kg. The legacy fungicide hexachlorobenzene (HCB) was below the EQS of 10 µg/kg in all fish analyzed, with a maximum of 6 µg/kg in some eels. The legacy solvent hexachlorobutadiene (HCBD) was below the EQS of 55 µg/kg, being < 0.2 µg/kg in all samples where it was measured. The sums of six polybrominated diphenyl ethers (PBDEs) were several orders of magnitude higher than the new proposed 0.0085 µg/kg biota EQS. This study showed that the regular collection and analysis of whole body homogenate samples of relatively small native pelagic fish is suitable for the monitoring of contaminants capable of bioaccumulation. With regard to current or proposed EQS for EU countries, mercury and potentially PBDE in fish are of some concern in these English rivers.

Item Type: Publication - Article
Digital Object Identifier (DOI): 10.1016/j.scitotenv.2013.05.007
Programmes: CEH Topics & Objectives 2009 - 2012 > Water
CEH Sections: Boorman (to September 2014)
Shore
ISSN: 0048-9697
Additional Keywords: environmental quality standards, UK, fish, mercury, PBDE, hexachlorobenzene
NORA Subject Terms: Ecology and Environment
Date made live: 11 Jun 2013 13:02 +0 (UTC)
URI: http://nora.nerc.ac.uk/id/eprint/500261

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