Spatial distribution and temporal trends of polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons in Mytilus galloprovincialis from the Iberian Mediterranean coast
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Polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs) have been determined in blue mussels (Mytilus galloprovincialis) from several Iberian Mediterranean coastal areas through the implementation of a monitoring programme from Spain in the framework of the Mediterranean Pollution Programme (MED POL). The selected areas correspond to sites with differing degrees of exposure to the main pollution sources (hot spots, coastal and reference areas). The sampling campaigns were performed from 2004 to 2009, with samples being taken from May to June, the non-spawning period for mussels in this area. Thirteen PAHs were determined by high-performance liquid chromatography with specific fluorescence detection. In general, total PAHs concentration was lower than 50 μg kg−1 d.w., except in areas close to the principal ports and cities (Barcelona, Tarragona, Valencia and Algeciras) where it varies from 75 to 390 μg kg−1 d.w. Background concentrations have been proposed for PAHs in mussels (23.8 μg kg−1 d.w.) from Western Mediterranean area. Temporal trends were not statistically significant for PAHs concentrations from 2004 to 2009. Longer monitoring periods would be required to detect a continuous tendency, especially for PAHs because although the efficiency of combustion engines has reduced PAHs emissions, their increasing use could alter this potential reduction. The predominant PAHs were three and four ring congeners in all cases, with the predominance of phenanthrene in mussels sited far from the main PAHs sources. The phenanthrene/anthracene (lower than 10) and fluoranthene/pyrene (higher than 1) ratios indicate that PAHs detected in Spanish Mediterranean coastal mussels are mainly of pyrolytic origin.
KeywordsBioaccumulation Mussel Mytilus galloprovincialis Distribution Polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons Temporal trend
This study was carried out within the MEDPOLIEO Project supported by the Spanish Ministry of Environment and by the Spanish Institute of Oceanography (Instituto Español de Oceanografía).
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