Integrated biological and chemical analysis of organochlorine compound pollution and of its biological effects in a riverine system downstream the discharge point.

Abstract

Pollution in riverine systems, along with its biological effects, may propagate downstream even at considerable distances. We analyzed the organochlorine compound (OC) pollution in a section of the low Ebro River (Northeast Spain) downstream a long-operating chlor-alkali plant. Maximal levels of OCs and of their associated dioxin-like biological activity occurred in residue samples from the plant, and persisted in river sediments some 40km downstream (Xerta site). Biological analysis at multiple organization levels in local carp (Cyprinus carpio, EROD, Cyp1A mRNA expression in the liver, hepatosomatic index, condition factor, and micronuclei index in peripheral blood) showed a similar pattern, with a maximal impact in Ascó, few kilometers downstream the plant, and a clear reduction at Xerta. This combination of chemical, molecular, cellular and physiological data allowed the precise assessment of the negative impact of the chlor-alkali plant on the quality of river sediments and on fish, and suggests that sediments may be a reservoir for toxic substances even in dynamic environments like rivers.

DOI: 10.1016/j.scitotenv.2010.08.009

Cite this paper

@article{Olivares2010IntegratedBA, title={Integrated biological and chemical analysis of organochlorine compound pollution and of its biological effects in a riverine system downstream the discharge point.}, author={Alba Olivares and Laia Quir{\'o}s and Sergi Pelayo and Anna Navarro and Carme Bosch and Joan O. Grimalt and Maria Del Carme Fabregat and Melisa Faria and Llu{\'i}s Benejam and Josep Benito and Montserrat Sol{\'e} and Carlos Barata and Benjam{\'i}n Pi{\~n}a}, journal={The Science of the total environment}, year={2010}, volume={408 22}, pages={5592-9} }