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Analysis of polychlorinated biphenyl (PCB) loading trends in Lake Michigan

Analysis of polychlorinated biphenyl (PCB) loading trends in Lake Michigan

Journal of Great Lakes Research 94: 548-558

PCB polychlorinated biphenyl concentrations in coregonid fish (bloater chubs) collected from Lake Michigan between 1972-1980 were used to infer a historical loading trend for PCB. A mass balance model was developed to describe the dynamics of PCB by assuming that historical fish concentrations were proportional to concurrent water column concentrations of PCB. The validity of this assumption was strengthened, since the data represented a single species of fish (a pelagic feeder), a specific age class of that species and a single laboratory performing the collections and analysis of the data. The results of model analysis indicated that PCB loading to Lake Michigan during the period of observation was described by a linearly decreasing trend. The calibrated model also forecasted the response of selected fish species to various loading scenarios. Forecast results indicated that a continuously decreasing load will result in compliance with USA and Canadian guideline value for human consumption by 1987. Should PCB loadings not continue to decrease, compliance with the proposed USA and extant Canadian guideline of 2.0 mg/kg was doubtful. Forecast accuracy may be improved by the availability of precise measurements of water:fish distribution coefficients.

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Accession: 015035041

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DOI: 10.1016/s0380-1330(83)71927-1

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