Effect-Directed-Analysis of Unresolved Complex Mixtures of Hydrocarbons (UCM). Identification of Persistent, Bioaccumulative and Toxic Components

A. Scarlett1, T.S. Galloway2 and S.J. Rowland1


Petroleum and Environmental Geochemistry Group, School of Earth, Ocean & Environmental Sciences, University of Plymouth, Plymouth PL4 8AA, U.K
2 Ecotoxicology & Stress Biology Group, School of Biological Sciences, University of Plymouth, Drake Circus, Plymouth PL4 8AA, U.K.

Presented at: SETAC Europe 17th Annual Meeting, Porto, Portugal, 20-24 May 2007

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Unresolved complex mixtures of hydrocarbons (UCMs) contain many thousands of individual compounds. A small number of studies (e.g. Booth et al, 2007) have shown that components of aromatic UCMs (fig. 1) can reduce the clearance rate (a measure of sublethal toxicity) of mussels Mytilus edulis but there remains a huge gap in our understanding of which compounds are involved, the mechanism of their toxicity and their bioavailability when adsorbed to sediments.

Following baseline toxicity tests using whole oils which showed population level effects on the sediment dwelling amphipod Corophium volutator, aliphatic and 2 aromatic fractions were tested using C. volutator and the blue mussel M. edulis.

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