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PARENT SESSION

PM05 Bioaccumulation and Kinetics of POPs
Exhibit Hall
8:00 AM - Monday

(PM038) A food-web bioaccumulation model for PCBs in the Georgia Basin.

Condon, CD1, Gobas, FAPC1, 1 Simon Fraser University, Burnaby, British Columbia, Canada

ABSTRACT- The Georgia Basin (GB), located on the southwest coast of British Columbia, is home to a complex marine ecosystem which is under increasing environmental stress due to population and development pressures. One of the contributing stressors is the presence of persistent organic pollutants (POPs) which originate locally, regionally, and globally. Recent studies in the GB and neighboring Puget Sound have shown unexpectedly high concentrations of PCBs in marine mammals (Ross et al., 2000); GB killer whales, for instance, are among the most heavily PCB-contaminated marine mammals in the world. To help environmental managers predict concentrations of POPs in GB-biota, the associated health risks, and the response of these concentrations to reduction strategies, a food-web model was developed and parameterized for PCBs in the GB. The model predicts movement of total PCBs and total toxic equivalent concentrations using mathematical expressions for the uptake and elimination of PCBs in the biota of the food web. Species are grouped into trophic guilds and bioaccumulation is described using separate equations for water-breathing (i.e., phytoplankton, zooplankton, aquatic invertebrates, and fish) and air-breathing (i.e., marine mammals and birds) organisms. The model predicts significant total PCB bioaccumulation through the GB food web, with lipid normalized concentrations increasing at each trophic level. Biomagnification accounts for the vast majority of PCB bioaccumulation in higher trophic organisms. Future work includes model calibration and testing – upon completion, the model is expected to be adaptable for use with other POPs (i.e., PBDEs) in the same or different systems.

Key words: pcbs, bioaccumulation, marine mammals, georgia basin


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