Assessing the Exposure of Fish to a Petroleum Spill in Galveston Bay, Texas Chapter uri icon


  • On July 28, 1990 nearly 700,000 gallons of a petroleum product were spilled in Galveston Bay, Texas. The exposure of fish to polynuclear aromatic hydrocarbons (PAH) in the spilled oil was assessed by measuring the concentrations of PAH metabolites in the bile and PAH concentrations in muscle and liver tissues. Biliary PAH metabolites were estimated using a non-radiometric high performance liquid chromatography/fluorescence detection technique. Fish were collected within 2 4 km of the spill at 1, 4 and 16 week(s) after the spill. The concentrations of PAH metabolites in the bile offish captured in oiled waters one week after the spill were among the highest reported to date. Biliary PAH metabolite concentrations were significantly lower in fish captured 4 and 16 weeks after the spill. The concentrations of PAH in fish tissues were low. PAH levels were higher in the muscle tissues of fish collected during the spill than 4 weeks after the spill. No significant difference in PAH concentrations were observed in liver tissues. The concentrations of PAH metabolites in bile were a sensitive indicator for assessing the exposure offish to PAH in the spilled oil, while tissue PAH concentrations were insensitive.

author list (cited authors)

  • McDonald, S. J., Wade, T. L., Brooks, J. M., & Mcdonald, T. J.

citation count

  • 4

complete list of authors

  • McDonald, SJ||Wade, TL||Brooks, JM||Mcdonald, TJ

editor list (cited editors)

  • Wrobel, L. C., & Brebbia, C. A.

Book Title

  • Water Pollution: Modelling, Measuring and Prediction

publication date

  • January 1991