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(P124) Smelt As An Indicator Of Contaminant Reduction In The Great Lakes.
Chernyak, Sergei*,1, Hickey, James1, Begnoche, Linda1, Quintal, Richard1, 1 USGS/Great Lakes Science Center, Ann Arbor, MI
ABSTRACT- The U.S. and Canada have spent millions of dollars on contaminant cleanup in the Great Lakes over the past several decades. There is need for indicators that show how much progress has been made in virtual elimination of persistent bioaccumulative toxic substances in the Great Lakes ecosystem. The Great Lakes Science Center conducted trend analyses of contaminant concentrations in rainbow smelt (Osmerus mordax) in all of the Great Lakes from 1983 to 2002. Rainbow smelt are short-lived, feed lower on the food chain, and are more indicative of current contaminant loads. In each data set we have data on 81 PCB congeners, toxaphene, and other chlorinated hydrocarbons such as pesticides and industrial contaminants. A majority of the smelt samples were also analyzed for emerging issue contaminants, notably polybrominated diphenylethers (PBDEs), and some samples were randomly analyzed for currently used pesticides such as endosulfans, etc. The most abundant PBDE congener (#47) has presently reached 1/6 the abundance of PCB congener 153, the most abundant PCB congener in fish tissue. And, the concentration has been shown to be rapidly increasing with time. Analysis of the 2000, 2001 smelt samples should support this trend.
Key words: Rainbow smelt, contaminants, PBDEs, Great Lakes
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