Uptake and depuration of toxic halogenated aromatic hydrocarbons by the American oyster (Crassostrea virginica): a field study Academic Article uri icon


  • Uptake and depuration of toxic chlorinated compounds such as planar polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs 77, 126, 169), 2,3,7,8-tetrachlorodibenzo-p-dioxin (TCDD) and 2,3,7,8-tetrachlorodibenzofuran (TCDF) were monitored during a 50-day field study where American oysters (Crassostrea virginica) were transplanted back and forth between a heavily polluted area (Houston Ship Channel, SC) and a relatively unimpacted area (Hanna's Reef, HR) within Galveston Bay, TX. In general, low molecular weight, less lipophilic compounds accumulated in the oysters to a larger extent than high molecular weight ones. Estimated half-lives for planar PCB congeners 77 and 126 were 28 and 51 days, respectively for depuration of newly contaminated oysters (HR-SC-HR) while longer half-lives (42 and 60 days, respectively) were observed for the same compounds as they were eliminated from chronically contaminated individuals (SC-HR). Estimated half-lives for 2,3,7,8-TCDD and 2,3,7,8-TCDF were 35 and 36 days, respectively and were similar to the tetrachlorinated biphenyls (PCBs 77 and 81). Compared with ortho-substituted PCB congeners of the same chlorination level, the more toxic PCBs take longer to depurate from the oysters. With few exceptions, elimination of all toxic compounds investigated proceeded at a slower rate from the chronically exposed population that from the newly contaminated one.

author list (cited authors)

  • Gardinali, P. R., Sericano, J. L., & Wade, T. L.

citation count

  • 13

publication date

  • January 2004