Presentation Abstract

Fish embryos spawned in Puget Sound nearshore marine habitats face a risk of exposure to a wide variety of toxic chemical pollutants during their incubation. Of particular concern are polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs), chemicals originating from oil spills, combusted fossil fuels, and creosote-treated pilings (CTPs). Removal of CTPs and prohibiting their use in marine waters are two recovery practices aimed at reducing PAHs and other creosote-related chemicals in marine waters. We used manually spawned and field-deployed Pacific herring embryos as a sensitive indicator of PAH exposure from CTPs, to test the efficacy of a CTP removal project in Quilcene Bay Washington. Embryos were deployed near CTPs in a 100-year-old derelict CTP field (1) before the CTPs were removed, (2) just after the removal process, to evaluate whether PAHs were released during removal, and (3) one year later, to evaluate whether PAHs lingered after CTP removal. Embryos incubated in the undisturbed CTP field prior to CTP removal exhibited PAH body burdens approximately five times higher than at reference areas, though total PAHs in the CTP-field embryos were below health effects thresholds. The CTP removal project was not fully completed during this study; CTP debris remained in the piling field and many CTPs were cut at the seafloor, resulting in freshly exposed CTP surfaces after the removal project ended. PAH concentrations in embryos sampled during and after CTP removal were 25x to 83x higher than reference embryos, and many exceeded health effects thresholds. PAH concentrations in embryos after CTP removal correlated with distance from former CTP locations. In addition, expression of cyp1a, a gene involved in PAH-detoxification, was correlated with PAH body burden. These results link embryo health with toxic contaminants associated with CTPs and illustrate the importance of fastidious adherence to appropriate CTP removal protocols to avoid contaminant risks to biota.

Session Title

Persistent Organic Pollutants and PAHs in Freshwater & Marine Fish

Keywords

PAHs, Creosote, Herring embryo

Conference Track

SSE3: Fate, Transport, and Toxicity of Chemicals

Conference Name

Salish Sea Ecosystem Conference (Seattle, WA : 2018)

Document Type

Event

SSEC Identifier

SSE3-379

Start Date

4-4-2018 4:30 PM

End Date

4-4-2018 4:45 PM

Type of Presentation

Oral

Contributing Repository

Digital content made available by University Archives, Heritage Resources, Western Libraries, Western Washington University.

Geographic Coverage

Salish Sea (B.C. and Wash.)

Rights

This resource is displayed for educational purposes only and may be subject to U.S. and international copyright laws. For more information about rights or obtaining copies of this resource, please contact University Archives, Heritage Resources, Western Libraries, Western Washington University, Bellingham, WA 98225-9103, USA (360-650-7534; heritage.resources@wwu.edu) and refer to the collection name and identifier. Any materials cited must be attributed to the Salish Sea Ecosystem Conference Records, University Archives, Heritage Resources, Western Libraries, Western Washington University.

Type

text

Language

English

Format

application/pdf

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Apr 4th, 4:30 PM Apr 4th, 4:45 PM

Effects of polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs) on Pacific herring (Clupea pallasii) embryos exposed to creosote-treated pilings related to a piling removal project in Quilcene Bay, Washington

Fish embryos spawned in Puget Sound nearshore marine habitats face a risk of exposure to a wide variety of toxic chemical pollutants during their incubation. Of particular concern are polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs), chemicals originating from oil spills, combusted fossil fuels, and creosote-treated pilings (CTPs). Removal of CTPs and prohibiting their use in marine waters are two recovery practices aimed at reducing PAHs and other creosote-related chemicals in marine waters. We used manually spawned and field-deployed Pacific herring embryos as a sensitive indicator of PAH exposure from CTPs, to test the efficacy of a CTP removal project in Quilcene Bay Washington. Embryos were deployed near CTPs in a 100-year-old derelict CTP field (1) before the CTPs were removed, (2) just after the removal process, to evaluate whether PAHs were released during removal, and (3) one year later, to evaluate whether PAHs lingered after CTP removal. Embryos incubated in the undisturbed CTP field prior to CTP removal exhibited PAH body burdens approximately five times higher than at reference areas, though total PAHs in the CTP-field embryos were below health effects thresholds. The CTP removal project was not fully completed during this study; CTP debris remained in the piling field and many CTPs were cut at the seafloor, resulting in freshly exposed CTP surfaces after the removal project ended. PAH concentrations in embryos sampled during and after CTP removal were 25x to 83x higher than reference embryos, and many exceeded health effects thresholds. PAH concentrations in embryos after CTP removal correlated with distance from former CTP locations. In addition, expression of cyp1a, a gene involved in PAH-detoxification, was correlated with PAH body burden. These results link embryo health with toxic contaminants associated with CTPs and illustrate the importance of fastidious adherence to appropriate CTP removal protocols to avoid contaminant risks to biota.