Selective retention of polychlorinated biphenyl components in the mussel, Mytilus edulis

The retention properties of PCBs (polychlorinated biphenyls) were examined in the mussel (Mytilus edulis) over a period of 89 days. Mussels were transferred from a site of relatively high PCB contamination to a site of relatively low PCB concentration in Puget Sound, Washington. Retention of PCB components increased with increasing chlorine content. Concentrations of PCB decayed logarithmically with calculated half-lives ranging from 3 days for a PCB component with two and three chlorines to 50 days for a PCB component with six and seven chlorines. Components chosen to best represent the commercial PCB mixtures, Aroclor | 1242, 1254, and 1260, were estimated to have half-lives of 8, 23, and 39 days, respectively. The selective retention of the higher chlorinated biphenyls appear to be the result of lower water solubility of these components.  

Citation:

Calambokidis, J., J. Mowrer, M.W. Beug, and S.G. Herman. 1979. Selective retention of polychlorinated biphenyl components in the mussel, Mytilus edulis. Archives of Environmental Contamination and Toxicology 8:299-308.