Survey of receiving-water environmental impacts ...

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Title Survey of receiving-water environmental impacts associated with discharges from pulp mills: 4. Bioassay-derived 2,3,7,8-tetrachlorodibenzo-p-dioxin toxic equivalent concentration in white sucker (Catostomus commersoni) in relation to biochemical indicators of impact
Author(s) Michael R. Van Den Heuvel, Kelly R. Munkittrick, Glen J. Van Der Kraak, Mark E. McMaster, Cameron B. Portt, Mark R. Servos, D. George Dixon
Journal Environmental Toxicology and Chemistry
Date 1994
Volume 13
Issue 7
Start page 1117
End page 1126
Abstract The H4IIE rat hepatoma bioassay was used to measure 2,3,7,8-tetrachlorodibenzo-p-dioxin toxic equivalent concentrations (TECs) in livers of white sucker (Catostomus commersoni) collected downstream from eight Ontario pulp mills and five reference sites. Subsamples of liver were also chemically analyzed for dioxins and furans. Bioassay-derived TECs were compared with TECs calculated from chemical residues using toxic equivalency factors (TEFs) specifically generated for the H4IIE cell line. This indicated that the bioassay-derived TECs could be accounted for largely by the additive effect of the dioxin and furan congeners. Seven of the eight examined mills had significantly higher TECs than the corresponding reference locations. The bioassay-derived TECs were highest at mills that used kraft pulping and chlorine bleaching. Although lower than the kraft mills, the thermomechanical (TMP) and sulfite mills also had higher TECs than the adjacent reference locations. The TECs were compared with hepatic 7-ethoxyresorufin-O-deethylase activity (EROD), as well as with concentrations of the plasma steroid hormones 17-beta-estradiol, 11-ketotestosterone, and testosterone. Significant correlations were found between EROD activity and TECs in both male and female white sucker. The correlation for mates was stronger than that for females. Some of the variability in this relationship for females could be explained by a multivariate regression that added 17-beta-estradiol to the analysis; a strongly negative relationship between 17-beta-estradiol and EROD activity was superimposed on the positive EROD-TEC relationship. No significant correlations were found between TECs and 11-ketotestosterone in males, 17-beta-estradiol in females, and gonadosomatic indexes in either sex. There were significant negative correlations between TECs and testosterone in both sexes.

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