Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Industrial pollutants found in Eastern Lake Erie carp

Date:
January 25, 2011
Source:
University at Buffalo
Summary:
Researchers have documented elevated levels of two industrial pollutants in carp in eastern Lake Erie, adding to the body of scientific work demonstrating the lasting environmental effects of human activity and waste disposal on the Great Lakes.

Researchers from Upstate New York institutions, including the University at Buffalo, have documented elevated levels of two industrial pollutants in carp in eastern Lake Erie, adding to the body of scientific work demonstrating the lasting environmental effects of human activity and waste disposal on the Great Lakes.

The two contaminants the scientists studied were polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs), human-made organic compounds once used in products including motor oils, adhesives, paints, plastics, pigments and dyes, and polybrominated diphenyl ethers (PBDEs), a class of flame-retardants found in common household items including furniture, personal computers, consumer electronics and drapes.

Both PCBs and PBDEs may disrupt the functions of the endocrine system, which secretes hormones that regulate bodily processes such as growth and development, reproduction and response to stress.

The team examined a sample of 18 carp from eastern Lake Erie and detected both pollutants in all the fish. The greatest concentration of PBDE the investigators found was just over 100 nanograms per gram of fish lipid -- a relatively low amount.

Concentrations of PCBs were higher, reaching 15,000 nanograms per gram in the lipid of one specimen. In contrast, 18 "control" carp from two cleaner New York lakes had no detectable level of PCBs.

The peer-reviewed journal Chemosphere published the findings in September, and researchers are now expanding their work to include a second study on eastern Lake Erie examining PBDE levels in plankton; sportfish including steelhead, walleye, rainbow trout and smallmouth bass; and forage fish including emerald shiner, gobies, yellow perch and smelt.

The goal is to provide knowledge on how PBDEs move through the food web and bioaccumulate in fish, including both commercial and invasive species. The measurements researchers collect will provide baseline data for establishing consumption advisories and better managing the ecological health of the lake. Though carp are not common food sources, the new study includes species that fishermen and consumers eat.

"Many people have documented these pollutants in fish in the Great Lakes, but most studies that have been done are more on the western part of Lake Erie and in the other lakes," said Diana Aga, a UB professor of chemistry and an author of the Chemosphere paper. "What we're doing here is to document specifically what's happening in eastern Lake Erie, which is interesting because it can be easily impacted by industries and human activities in the Buffalo area."

"We wanted to document what we have now and compare it to other areas and to the future. If there's any cleaning up in the area, then whatever remediation is done, we'll be able to see if it has affected the levels of these chemicals in fish over time," Aga said.

Alicia Pérez-Fuentetaja, a biologist at Buffalo State College's Great Lakes Center, led the research on carp, overseeing an interdisciplinary group of biologists and chemists from UB and the State University of New York at Cortland. Pérez-Fuentetaja is also heading the project on plankton and sportfish, leading a team whose members include Aga, UB graduate student Susan Mackintosh and Mehran Alaee of Environment Canada in Ontario. Funding for both studies comes from the Great Lakes Protection Fund.

In their Chemosphere paper, Pérez-Fuentetaja, Aga and co-authors wrote that PCBs and PBDEs "are of concern because they have the propensity to disrupt the endocrine system, cause neurobehavioral deficits and possibly cause cancer."

The discovery of high levels of PCBs in carp underscores the staying power the chemicals have in the environment. A ban on the production of PCBs has been in place in the U.S. since 1979, but scientists working in the Great Lakes and elsewhere in the country have continued to find accumulations of the substance in fish.

And while Pérez-Fuentetaja, Aga and collaborators called the low levels of PBDE contamination in carp they examined "encouraging news," they added that the flame retardants still regularly enter Lake Erie. Therefore, the researchers wrote, "it is reasonable to expect a future increase of this group of chemicals in sediment and biota, and continued monitoring is recommended."


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by University at Buffalo. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Journal Reference:

  1. Alicia Pérez-Fuentetaja, Sara Lupton, Mark Clapsadl, Fatin Samara, Louis Gatto, Robert Biniakewitz, Diana S. Aga. PCB and PBDE levels in wild common carp (Cyprinus carpio) from eastern Lake Erie. Chemosphere, 2010; 81 (4): 541 DOI: 10.1016/j.chemosphere.2010.06.033

Cite This Page:

University at Buffalo. "Industrial pollutants found in Eastern Lake Erie carp." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 25 January 2011. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2011/01/110121202156.htm>.
University at Buffalo. (2011, January 25). Industrial pollutants found in Eastern Lake Erie carp. ScienceDaily. Retrieved July 28, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2011/01/110121202156.htm
University at Buffalo. "Industrial pollutants found in Eastern Lake Erie carp." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2011/01/110121202156.htm (accessed July 28, 2014).

Share This




More Plants & Animals News

Monday, July 28, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Raw: Sea Turtle Hatchlings Emerge from Nest

Raw: Sea Turtle Hatchlings Emerge from Nest

AP (July 27, 2014) — A live-streaming webcam catches loggerhead sea turtle hatchlings emerging from a nest in the Florida Keys. (July 27) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Trees Could Save More Than 850 Lives Each Year

Trees Could Save More Than 850 Lives Each Year

Newsy (July 27, 2014) — A national study conducted by the USDA Forest Service found that trees collectively save more than 850 lives on an annual basis. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
What's To Blame For Worst Ebola Outbreak In History?

What's To Blame For Worst Ebola Outbreak In History?

Newsy (July 27, 2014) — A U.S. doctor has tested positive for the deadly Ebola virus, as the worst-ever outbreak continues to grow. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
The New York Times Backs Pot Legalization

The New York Times Backs Pot Legalization

Newsy (July 27, 2014) — The New York Times has officially endorsed the legalization of marijuana, but why now, and to what end? Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
 
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:  

Breaking News:
from the past week

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:  

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile iPhone Android Web
Follow Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins