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For a better understanding of relationships between toxicants of bleached kraft pulp mill effluents (BKME) and their predicted biological effects, the metabolic fate and hepatic excretion of chlorophenolics and resin acids in fishes were investigated. Three types of short-term experiments were conducted with rainbow trout: controlled laboratory exposures, semi-controlled field laboratory exposures, and caging experiments in water receiving BKME. Additionally, samples were collected from feral fish populations exposed to BKME at various distances from the source.
Only a small proportion (<0.5 to 5%) of all chlorophenolics and resin acids was excreted to the bile as free substances. About 95% of bile resin acid conjugates were glucuronides. Most of the conjugates in trout exposed to chlorophenols were glucuronides, a small proportion of them being sulphates. A good relationship between the dilution of BKME and the total amount of bile conjugates of chlorophenolics and resin acids was observed even in semi-controlled experiments. Both the caging exposures of trout and the field material collected from the recipient revealed consistent results between the concentrations of conjugates and the distance from the BKME source. We suggest that useful information about the chronic loading of fish populations by toxic substances in BKME can be achieved through analyses of the total concentrations of their bile conjugates.
aquatic toxicology, chlorophenolics, resin acids, pulp and paper industry, fishes, liver, biliary excretion, metabolic conjugation, water quality
Senior research associate, University of Joensuu (Academy of Finland), Joensuu,
Associate professor, University of Åbo Akademi, Turku,