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Similarities in bioaccumulation patterns of polychlorinated dibenzo-p-dioxins and furans and polychlorinated diphenyl ethers in laboratory-exposed oligochaetes and semipermeable membrane devices and in field-collected chironomids

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Abstract

Sediment and chironomid samples were collected from a river in the vicinity of and downstream from a closed chlorophenol production plant, and they were analyzed for polychlorinated dibenzo-p-dioxins and furans (PCDD/F) and polychlorinated diphenyl ethers (PCDE). Bioaccumulation of these compounds from the sediments by the oligochaeta, Lumbriculus variegatus, and semipermeable membrane devices (SPMDs) was studied in a 28-d bioaccumulation test. The sum concentrations of PCDD/Fs and PCDEs in sediments varied spatially, peaking at the site below the production plant, but the congener composition remained fairly constant throughout the river. The sum concentrations of chironomids, oligochaetes, and SPMDs all varied independently of sediment concentrations. Both invertebrates accumulated more PCDEs, whereas PCDD/Fs dominated in sediments and SPMDs. Despite the variable sum concentrations, similarities were observed in concentrations and compositions of individual congeners. A significant correlation was found between sediments and oligochaetes, and between oligochaetes and chironomids, for both PCDD/Fs and PCDEs. These results suggest that bioaccumulation of PCDD/Fs and PCDEs in invertebrates is nonselective. Furthermore, the laboratory bioaccumulation tests seem to yield relevant results. The SPMDs were found to give good predictions of the PCDD/F concentrations of sediments and oligochaetes. For PCDEs, the estimates were slightly poorer, but still useful for preliminary concentration assessments.

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