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Title: Sister chromatid exchange in marine polychaetes exposed to Black Rock Harbor sediment
Authors: Environmental Research Laboratory (Narragansett, R.I.)
Science Applications International Corporation
University of Rhode Island.
United States. Environmental Protection Agency.
Field Verification Program (Aquatic Disposal)
Lee, T. C.
Pesch, Gerald G.
Pesch, Carol E.
Malcolm, A. Russell.
Rogerson, Peter F.
Gardner, George R.
Mueller, Cornelia.
Munns, Wayne R.
Heltshe, James.
Senecal, Andre G.
Keywords: Biological assay
Dredging spoil
Dredged materials
Marine pollution
Aquatic pollution
Sister chromatid exchange
Nephtys incisa
Marine polychaete
Black Rock Harbor
Water quality
Environmental aspects
Publisher: Environmental Laboratory (U.S.)
Engineer Research and Development Center (U.S.)
Description: Technical Report
Abstract: This report evaluates the use of the cytogenetic technique of sister chromatid exchange (SCE) to measure potential mutagenic activity associated with contaminated dredged material. The three primary objectives were to test the applicability of the SCE technique, to field verify any responses observed in the laboratory, and to determine the degree of correlation between the bioaccumulation of contaminants and the SCE response. This project was part of the US Environmental Protection Agency/Corps of Engineers Field Verification Program (FVP). The SCE technique was applied to Nephtys incisa, an infaunal polychaete dominant in the benthic community at the Central Long Island Sound (CLIS) disposal site. The SCE response was measured in N. incisa exposed to suspended and bedded sediment phases of Black Rock Harbor (BRH) dredged material in the laboratory. The experiment was replicated three times as a randomized complete block design. The treatment employing suspended BRH sediment over bedded reference sediment was significantly higher than all other treatments. The SCE response was measured in N. incisa sampled along a transect of stations at the CLIS disposal site. The SCE response was low in June 1983 (immediate postdisposal), rose significantly (3.8x) in August 1983, and declined in December 1983. There were no differences among stations on any given date. The laboratory and field SCE data were in excellent agreement. For example, the laboratory controls were statistically the same as the June and December field samples, and the highest laboratory response was statistically the same as the August field data. BRH sediment contains high concentrations of many contaminants including polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs) and polynuclear aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs) that accumulate in tissues of worms exposed in both the laboratory and the field. Post-disposal field concentrations of these compounds decreased in surficial sediments with distance from the FVP site. Tissue concentrations of PCBs and PAHs in field-collected N. incisa peaked during the summer of 1983 and declined during the fall. Of ten chemicals and two summary statistics analyzed for correlation between SCE response and tissue concentrations, only two, benzo(a)pyrene (BaP) and chromium, are known mutagens. BaP is not a direct-acting mutagen; however, its metabolites are mutagenic. Therefore, a statistical relationship between tissue concentrations of BaP and SCE response would not be expected. Chromium can be a direct-acting mutagen, and a correlation between chromium concentration in tissues and SCE response was found (r = 0.83). Because of the multicontaminant nature of the dredged material and the study designs used in the FVP, potential cause-effect relationships between tissue residues and SCE response were not addressed. The increased SCE frequencies associated with exposure to BRH sediment are indicative of mutagenic activity and underscore the need for genotoxicity testing in evaluating wastes to be ocean disposed.
Rights: Approved for public release; distribution is unlimited.
Appears in Collections:Technical Report

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