MP3 Chronic and Sublethal Sediment Toxicity
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() Toxicity and bioaccumulation of tributyltin in Hyalella azteca from freshwater harbour sediments in the Great Lakes Basin, Canada.

Bartlett, Adrienne1, Borgmann, Uwe2, Maguire, R2, Batchelor, Suzanne2, Dixon, D1, 1 University of Waterloo, Waterloo, Ontario, Canada2 National Water Research Institute, Environment Canada, Burlington, Ontario, Canada

ABSTRACT- This study was designed to evaluate the risk that tributyltin (TBT) poses to freshwater invertebrates in harbour sediments, and to rank TBT as an environmental concern compared to inorganic metal species. Sediments were collected from five harbours historically contaminated with TBT: Montreal, Kingston, Toronto, Hamilton, and Port Weller. Four-week toxicity tests and two-week bioaccumulation tests were conducted using Hyalella azteca. There was no effect of TBT on survival or growth of H. azteca. There was a positive relationship between TBT in H. azteca and TBT in sediments (r2 = 0.72), although TBT in field sediments was less bioavailable than in laboratory-spiked sediments. Bioaccumulation of TBT in H. azteca exceeded levels expected to cause effects in sensitive species in some sediments from Kingston, Montreal, and Port Weller. Body concentrations of arsenic, cadmium, chromium, cobalt, lead, manganese, nickel, and thallium were well below levels expected to cause toxicity. However, overlying water concentrations of copper and zinc approached or exceeded levels of concern in Toronto, Hamilton, and Port Weller sediments. This research suggests that levels of TBT in harbour sediments may cause chronic toxicity in freshwater invertebrates, and that copper and zinc also pose a risk at these sites.

Key words: Hyalella azteca, tributyltin, sediment, metals

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