Abstract Title:

Effect of dispersant on the composition of the water-accommodated fraction of crude oil and its toxicity to larval marine fish.

Abstract Source:

Environ Toxicol Chem. 2005 Jun;24(6):1496-504. PMID: 16117127

Abstract Author(s):

Catherine M Couillard, Kenneth Lee, Benoît Légaré, Thomas L King

Article Affiliation:

Environmental Sciences Branch, Department of Fisheries and Oceans, Maurice Lamontagne Institute, P.O. Box 1000, Mont-Joli, Quebec G5H 3Z4, Canada. [email protected]


Newly hatched mummichog (Fundulus heteroclitus) were exposed in a 96-h static renewal assay to water-accommodated fractions of dispersed crude oil (DWAF) or crude oil (WAF) to evaluate if the dispersant-induced changes in aqueous concentrations of polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAH) affected larval survival, body length, or ethoxyresorufin-O-deethylase (EROD) activity. Weathered Mesa light crude oil (0.05-1 g/L) and filtered seawater with or without the addition of Corexit 9500 were used to prepare DWAF and WAE At 0.2 g/L, the addition of dispersant caused a two- and fivefold increase in the concentrations of total PAH (sigmaPAH) and high-molecular-weight PAH (HMWPAH) with three or more benzene rings. Highest mortality rates (89%) were observed in larvae exposed to DWAF (0.5 g/L; sigmaPAH, 479 ng/ml). A reduction in body length was correlated with increased levels of sigmaPAH (r2 = 0.65, p = 0.02) and not with HMWPAH. The EROD activity increased linearly with HMWPAH (r2 = 0.99, p = 0.001) and not with sigmaPAH. Thus, chemical dispersion increased both the sigmaPAH concentrations and the proportion of HMWPAH in WAF. Dispersed HMWPAH were bioavailable, as indicated by a significantly increased EROD activity in exposed mummichog larvae, and this may represent a significant hazard for larval fish.

Study Type : Animal Study
Additional Links
Problem Substances : Dispersants : CK(55) : AC(30)

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