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We present and evaluate a framework for estimating concentrations of pharmaceuticals over time in wildlife feeding at wastewater treatment plants (WWTPs). The framework is composed of a series of predictive steps involving the estimation of pharmaceutical concentration in wastewater, accumulation into wildlife food items, and uptake by wildlife with subsequent distribution into, and elimination from, tissues. Because many pharmacokinetic parameters for wildlife are unavailable for the majority of drugs in use, a read-across approach was employed using either rodent or human data on absorption, distribution, metabolism, and excretion. Comparison of the different steps in the framework against experimental data for...
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Contaminant exposure of tree swallows, Tachycineta bicolor, nesting in 27 Areas of Concern (AOCs) in the Great Lakes basin was assessed from 2010 to 2014 to assist managers and regulators in their assessments of Great Lakes AOCs. Contaminant concentrations in nestlings from AOCs were compared with those in nestlings from nearby non-AOC sites. Polychlorinated biphenyl (PCB) and polybrominated diphenyl ether concentrations in tree swallow nestling carcasses at 30% and 33% of AOCs, respectively, were below the mean concentration for non-AOCs. Polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbon (PAH) concentrations in nestling stomach contents and perfluorinated compound concentrations in nestling plasma at 67% and 64% of AOCs, respectively,...
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Freshwater mussels, one of the most imperiled groups of animals in the world, are generally underrepresented in toxicity databases used for the development of ambient water quality criteria and other environmental guidance values. Acute 96-h toxicity tests were conducted to evaluate the sensitivity of 5 species of juvenile mussels from 2 families and 4 tribes to 10 chemicals (ammonia, metals, major ions, and organic compounds) and to screen 10 additional chemicals (mainly organic compounds) with a commonly tested mussel species, fatmucket (Lampsilis siliquoidea). In the multi-species study, median effect concentrations (EC50s) among the 5 species differed by a factor of ≤2 for chloride, potassium, sulfate, and zinc;...
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We investigated PCB contamination at the Ashtabula River Area of Concern (AOC) following remedial dredging using araneid and tetragnathid spiders. PCB concentrations remain elevated in the AOC compared to reference conditions. Patterns of contamination were strikingly similar between taxa, but were higher in tetragnathids at the most contaminated sites. Spider PCB homolog distributions identified two PCB sources to the AOC. Based on these findings, we recommend situations where these taxa can be used singularly, in concert, or combined into a composite “spider” sample to assess environmental contamination.
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The upper Hudson River of New York State, USA, is contaminated with polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs) as a result of industrial discharges throughout the latter half of this century. In 1994 and 1995, we monitored the transfer of PCBs from aquatic sediments to a terrestrial wildlife community using the tree swallow (Tachycineta bicolor) as a model organism. Tree swallow eggs and nestlings were collected at four colonies established along a 40-km stretch of the upper Hudson River watershed. Samples were analyzed for total PCBs and PCB congeners, including non-ortho- and mono-ortho-substituted PCBs. Mean concentrations of PCBs in tree swallow eggs and nestlings ranged from 721 to 62,200 ng/g and were as much as 15...
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Atrazine has been implicated in reproductive dysfunction of exposed organisms, and previous studies documented decreased egg production in Japanese medaka (Oryzias latipes) and fathead minnows (Pimephales promelas) during 30-d to 38-d exposures to 0.5 µg/L, 5 µg/L, and 50 µg/L atrazine. The authors evaluated possible mechanisms underlying the reduction in egg production. Gene expression in steroidogenesis pathways and the hypothalamus–pituitary–gonad axis of male and female fish was measured. Atrazine did not significantly induce gonad aromatase (cyp19a1a) expression. An atrazine-induced shift in the number of females in an active reproductive state was observed. Expression of the egg maturation genes vitellogenin...
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The presence of endocrine-disrupting compounds (EDCs), particularly estrogenic compounds, in the environment has drawn public attention across the globe, yet a clear understanding of the extent and distribution of estrogenic EDCs in surface waters and their relationship to potential sources is lacking. The objective of the present study was to identify and examine the potential input of estrogenic EDC sources in North Carolina water bodies using a geographic information system (GIS) mapping and analysis approach. Existing data from state and federal agencies were used to create point and nonpoint source maps depicting the cumulative contribution of potential sources of estrogenic EDCs to North Carolina surface waters....
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Within the framework of European Union chemical legislations an extensive data set on the chronic toxicity of sediment nickel has been generated. In the initial phase of testing, tests were conducted with 8 taxa of benthic invertebrates in 2 nickel-spiked sediments, including 1 reasonable worst-case sediment with low concentrations of acid-volatile sulfide (AVS) and total organic carbon. The following species were tested: amphipods (Hyalella azteca, Gammarus pseudolimnaeus), mayflies (Hexagenia sp.), oligochaetes (Tubifex tubifex, Lumbriculus variegatus), mussels (Lampsilis siliquoidea), and midges (Chironomus dilutus, Chironomus riparius). In the second phase, tests were conducted with the most sensitive species...
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Black-crowned night-heron (Nycticorax nycticorax) offspring were collected from a relatively uncontaminated coastal reference site (next to Chincoteague National Wildlife Refuge, VA, USA) and two sites in the Chesapeake Bay watershed (Baltimore Harbor, MD and Rock Creek Park, Washington, DC, USA). Hepatic microsomal activities of benzyloxyresorufin-O-dealkylase and ethoxyresorufin-O-dealkylase were significantly elevated (up to sixfold and ninefold induction, respectively) in pipping embryos from the Baltimore Harbor colony compared to the reference site, whereas values in embryos from the Rock Creek Park colony were intermediate. Concentrations of organochlorine pesticides and metabolites in pipping embryos from...
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Acute 96-h ammonia toxicity to three-month-old juvenile mussels (Lampsilis siliquoidea) was evaluated in four treatments (water-only, water-only with feeding, water and soil, and water and sand) using an exposure unit designed to maintain consistent pH and ammonia concentrations in overlying water and in pore water surrounding the substrates. Median effect concentrations (EC50s) for total ammonia nitrogen in the four treatments ranged from 5.6 to 7.7mg/L and median lethal concentrations (LC50s) ranged from 7.0 to 11mg/L at a mean pH of 8.4. Similar EC50s or LC50s with overlapping 95% confidence intervals among treatments indicated no influence of substrate on the response of mussels in acute exposures to ammonia.
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We examined effects of radionuclide exposure at two atomic blast sites on kangaroo rats (Dipodomys merriami) at the Nevada Test Site, Nevada, USA, using genotoxicity and population genetic analyses. We assessed chromosome damage by micronucleus and flow cytometric assays and genetic variation by randomly amplified polymorphic DNA (RAPD) and mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA) analyses. The RAPD analysis showed no population structure, but mtDNA exhibited differentiation among and within populations. Genotoxicity effects were not observed when all individuals were analyzed. However, individuals with mtDNA haplotypes unique to the contaminated sites had greater chromosomal damage than contaminated-site individuals with haplotypes...
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The relative abilities of sediment concentrations of simultaneously extracted trace metal: acid-volatile sulfide (SEM: AVS) and dry weight-normalized trace metals to correctly predict both toxicity and nontoxicity were compared by analysis of 77 field-collected samples. Relative to the SEM:AVS concentrations, sediment guidelines based upon dry weight-normalized concentrations were equally or slightly more accurate in predicting both nontoxic and toxic results in laboratory tests.
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Since the early 1970s, contaminants have been shown to affect virtually every aspect of behavior in terrestrial and aquatic organisms. Behavior inte- grates many cellular processes and is essential to the viability of the organism, the population and the community. Therefore, observations of behavior provide a unique toxicological perspective - one that links the biochemical and ecological conse- quences of environmental contamination.
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The influence of metal exposure history on rates of aqueous Cd accumulation, elimination, and subcellular distribution was examined in the aquatic insect Hydropsyche californica. Specimens were obtained from a reference site and a metalā€contaminated site and returned to the laboratory where they were continuously exposed to aqueous Cd (518 ng/L, nominal) for 6 d, followed by 9 d of depuration. Rates of Cd accumulation and elimination were similar in insects from the two sites. Efflux rate constants, ke, ranged from 0.20 to 0.24/d (t1/2 ≈ 3 d). Immediately following exposure, the cytosol accounted for 40% of the body burden in insects from both sites; however, 89 ± 2% of the cytosolic Cd was associated with metallothioneinā€like...
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In order to estimate total mercury (HgT) loads entering San Francisco Bay, USA, via the Sacramento-San Joaquin River system, unfiltered water samples were collected between January 2002 and January 2006 during high flow events and analyzed for HgT. Unfiltered HgT concentrations ranged from 3.2 to 75 ng/L and showed a strong correlation (r2 = 0.8, p < 0.001, n = 78) to suspended sediment concentrations (SSC). During infrequent large floods, HgT concentrations relative to SSC were approximately twice as high as observed during smaller floods. This difference indicates the transport of more Hg-contaminated particles during high discharge events. Daily HgT loads in the Sacramento-San Joaquin River at Mallard Island...
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Eggs of neotropic cormorants (Phalacrocorax brasilianus), black-crowned night herons (Nycticorax nycticorax), and great egrets (Ardea alba) nesting on several locations in Galveston Bay (TX, USA) and at two control sites outside the bay were collected during April–May 1996 and analyzed for chlorinated pesticides, PCBs, polychlorinated dibenzo-p-dioxins, and polychlor-inated dibenzofurans. Additionally, concentrations of 2,3,7,8-tetrachlorodibenzo-p-dioxin equivalents (TCDD-EQs) were determined by use of relative potency factors (TEQs) or the H4IIE-luc bioassay TCDD-EQs. Concentrations of 1,1,-dichloro-2,2-bis(p-chlo-rophenyl)ethylene (DDE) were greater in eggs of neotropic cormorants from Alexander Island (mean...
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Measurements of Hg concentrations in avian eggs can be used to predict possible harm to reproduction, but it is not always possible to sample eggs. When eggs cannot be sampled, some substitute tissue, such as female blood, the diet of the breeding female, or down feathers of hatchlings, must be used. When female mallards (Anas platyrhynchos) were fed diets containing methylmercury chloride, the concentration of Hg in a sample of their blood was closely correlated with the concentration of Hg in the egg they laid the day they were bled (r2=0.88; p<0.001). Even when the blood sample was taken more than two weeks after an egg was laid, there was a strong correlation between Hg concentrations in female blood and eggs...
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To test an association between environmental contaminants and the prevalence of congenital anomalies in colonial waterbirds, we collected representative eggs for chemical analysis from double-crested cormorant nests at colonies in Lake Michigan, Wisconsin, USA, and Lake Winnipegosis, Manitoba, Canada, and periodically revisited the nests to determine the hatching success, survivorship of hatchlings, and number of deformed hatchlings in the remainder of each clutch. Total concentrations of polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs) in eggs were determined by capillary gas chromatography. The combined activity of planar chlorinated hydrocarbons (PCHs) in the eggs was measured in an in vitro bioassay based on the induction of...
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Sex-steroid and thyroid hormones are critical regulators of growth and reproduction in all vertebrates, and several recent studies suggest that environmental chemicals can alter circulating concentrations of these hormones. This study examines plasma concentrations of estradiol-171?? (E2), testosterone (T), triiodothyronine (T3), and thyroxine (T4) in juvenile alligators (60-140 cm total length) from two contaminated lakes and one reference lake in Florida. First, the data were analyzed by comparing hormone concentrations among males and females from the different lakes. Whereas there were no differences in plasma E2 concentrations among animals of the three lakes, male alligators from the contaminated lakes (Lake...
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In the present study, specimens of the invasive clam, Corbicula fluminea, were collected above and below possible sources of potentially toxic trace elements (As, Cd, Cr, Cu, Hg, Pb, and Zn) in the Altamaha River system (Georgia, USA). Bioaccumulation of these elements was quantified, along with environmental (water and sediment) concentrations. Hierarchical linear models were used to account for variability in tissue concentrations related to environmental (site water chemistry and sediment characteristics) and individual (growth metrics) variables while identifying the strongest relations between these variables and trace element accumulation. The present study found significantly elevated concentrations of Cd,...