Published: Jan 1981
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A localized portion of the western New York Great Lakes aquatic environment is being examined for the presence of carcinogenic and mutagenic substances. Several approaches are being utilized, including a survey of tumors and contaminant analysis of tissue in fish collected from a heavily industrialized freshwater estuary.
Chemical characterization studies of contaminants present in bottom sediments were carried out using reversed-phase high-pressure liquid chromatography (HPLC) applied to fractions derived by routine organic extraction and separation methods. Correlations between the polynuclear aromatic hydrocarbon (PAH) composition of the contaminated sediments and that found in the biota were sought. The HPLC analysis of fractions isolated from sediments, tubifex worms, aquatic snails, and fish tissues indicated the presence of a PAH “fingerprint” in all segments of the aquatic food chain. Of the limited biota analyzed, only the annelids accumulated relatively high levels of PAH compounds.
Selected ion monitoring (MS) of the HPLC eluate was used to confirm the results of the HPLC analysis of fractions derived from fish and sediments. These data indicate the presence of a series of compounds having mass units consistent with empirical HPLC identifications of PAH compounds.
chemical contaminants, polycyclic hydrocarbons, fish, tumors, highpressure liquid chromatography, mass spectrometry, aquatic toxicology, hazard assessment
Cancer research scientist, Roswell Park Memorial Institute, Buffalo, N.Y.
Director of Mass Spectrometry, Division of Laboratories and Research, Albany, N.Y.
Professor, Canisius College, Buffalo, N.Y.