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Phototoxicity of individual polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons and petroleum to marine invertebrate larvae and juveniles

Authors

  • Marguerite C. Pelletier,

    Corresponding author
    1. U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, NHEERL, Atlantic Ecology Division, 27 Tarzwell Drive, Narragansett, Rhode Island 02882
    • U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, NHEERL, Atlantic Ecology Division, 27 Tarzwell Drive, Narragansett, Rhode Island 02882
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  • Robert M. Burgess,

    1. U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, NHEERL, Atlantic Ecology Division, 27 Tarzwell Drive, Narragansett, Rhode Island 02882
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  • Kay T. Ho,

    1. U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, NHEERL, Atlantic Ecology Division, 27 Tarzwell Drive, Narragansett, Rhode Island 02882
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  • Anne Kuhn,

    1. U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, NHEERL, Atlantic Ecology Division, 27 Tarzwell Drive, Narragansett, Rhode Island 02882
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  • Richard A. McKinney,

    1. U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, NHEERL, Atlantic Ecology Division, 27 Tarzwell Drive, Narragansett, Rhode Island 02882
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  • Stephan A. Ryba

    1. U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, NHEERL, Atlantic Ecology Division, 27 Tarzwell Drive, Narragansett, Rhode Island 02882
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  • Mention of trade names or commercial products does not constitute endorsement or recommendation for use by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency.

  • Contribution NHEERL-NAR-1790.

Abstract

Phototoxicity resulting from photoactivated polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs) has been reported in the literature for a variety of freshwater organisms. The magnitude of increase in PAH toxicity often exceeds a factor of 100. In the marine environment phototoxicity to marine organisms has not been reported for individual or complex mixtures of PAHs. In this study, larvae and juveniles of the bivalve, Mulinia lateralis, and juveniles of the mysid shrimp, Mysidopsis bahia, were exposed to individual known phototoxic PAHs (anthracene, fluoranthene, pyrene), as well as the water-accommodated fractions of several petroleum products (Fuel Oil #2, Arabian Light Crude, Prudhoe Bay Crude, Fuel Oil #6) containing PAHs. Phototoxicity of individual PAHs was 12 to >50,000 times that of conventional toxicity. Three of the petroleum products demonstrated phototoxicity while the lightest product, Fuel Oil #2, was not phototoxic at the concentrations tested. The phototoxicity of petroleum products appears to be dependent on the composition and concentrations of phototoxic PAHs present: lighter oils have fewer multiple aromatic ring, phototoxic compounds while heavier oils have higher levels of these types of molecules. This study shows that phototoxicity can occur in marine waters to marine species. Further, the occurrence of oil in marine waters presents the additional risk of phototoxicity not routinely assessed for during oil spills.

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