Polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs) are ubiquitous marine and freshwater sediment contaminants. Extensive data exist to confirm that PAHs are toxic to aquatic receptors. However, limited information is available regarding the bioavailability and genotoxicity of sediment PAHs to aquatic organisms. This study investigated an integrated biomonitoring approach using chemical analyses and biomarkers to characterize the bioavailability and genotoxicity of a complex PAH mixture in freshwater lake sediments associated with a former manufactured gas plant (MGP). Sediment PAH genotoxicity was assessed by flow cytometry (FCM), DNA adduct (32)P-postlabeling, and erythrocyte micronuclei in juvenile coho salmon (Oncorhynchus kisutch) caged in the water column. Significant PAH-induced genotoxicity was observed with FCM and (32)P-postlabeling, but not with erythrocyte micronuclei. Chromosome damage in peripheral blood and hepatic DNA adducts correlated with sediment, but not water column PAH concentrations. Total hepatic DNA adducts in salmon caged nearest the former MGP facility was 39+/-6.5 (RALx10(9)), while salmon caged in a reference lake had 28+/-2.3 total hepatic DNA adducts per 10(9) nucleotides. These results indicate that in situ biomonitoring using biomarkers and caged fish can be a sensitive indicator of genotoxic PAHs in sediments.
- Coho Salmon
- Sediment Quality Triad