2008 Joint Meeting of The Geological Society of America, Soil Science Society of America, American Society of Agronomy, Crop Science Society of America, Gulf Coast Association of Geological Societies with the Gulf Coast Section of SEPM

Paper No. 38
Presentation Time: 8:00 AM-6:00 PM

Levels of Polychlorinated Biphenyls (PCBs) in Largemouth Bass (Micropterus salmoides) from Storm Water Retention Ponds in Southeastern Pennsylvania

ERNSTOFF, Alexi1, VELINSKY, David2, OVERBECK, Paul2 and OZE, Christopher1, (1)Department of Geology, Bryn Mawr College, 101 N. Merion Avenue, Bryn Mawr, PA 19010, (2)Patrick Center for Environmental Research, The Academy of Natural Science, 1900 Benjamin Franklin Parkway, Philadelphia, PA 19103, alexiernstoff@gmail.com

Polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs) are harmful anthropogenic contaminants previously manufactured for a variety of usages and they are currently disseminated throughout the biosphere. Bioaccumulation of PCBs throughout the food chain has resulted in fish being a common human exposure pathway to PCBs. This study examines levels of PCBs in a population of largemouth bass (Micropterus salmoides) caught from two storm water retention ponds in southeastern Pennsylvania. One pond is located on Bryn Mawr College's campus and another in an adjacent watershed. Levels of the PCB congeners were measured within fillets from seven Rhoads Pond fish samples and three from Beaumont Pond. Mercury is also being analyzed in these samples. Analysis of PCB levels in a small water body, with no known contaminant point sources, facilitates determination of background contamination levels in the study region. The retention pond was designed to capture particulate matter; therefore, levels found in this study may represent the maximum background level in this area of Pennsylvania. In this study PCB concentrations measured in fish fillets ranged from 0.03 to 0.10 µg/g wet weight. Four fish had PCB levels high enough to qualify for the second tier of Pennsylvania's State Fish Advisories (0.06 µg/g), which suggests limiting consumption to one meal per week. Three decades since their banned production, PCBs continue to persist in the environment affecting organisms even in the smallest of ponds.