Water Resources Research Act Program

Details for Project ID 2015NJ369B

Suspended particulate toxicity: an emerging area of concern for physiochemical exposures to fish and other aquatic organisms

Institute: New Jersey
Year Established: 2015 Start Date: 2015-03-01 End Date: 2016-02-28
Total Federal Funds: $5,000 Total Non-Federal Funds: $10,000

Principal Investigators: Daniel Millemann, Keith Cooper

Abstract: Suspended particulate toxicity is not well characterized in aquatic organisms. Our recent research has shown that there can be physical and chemical mechanisms for particulate toxicity in fish and other aquatic organisms. Particulates derived from polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs) are of specific concern because of their ubiquitous presence in urbanized environments and potential to desorb reactive compounds, such as benzo[a]pyrene, over time. Our research has proven that particulates distribute to the microvasculature, heart, and kidneys of wild menhaden, an economically and ecologically important species of fish. The proposed study will address issues concerning the toxicity of PAH based particulates in a model teleost species. Pilot studies will determine the role of feeding mechanism (filter vs selective feeding) in particulate absorption and these results will be applied to a larger scale study examining the distribution of these particulates in fish. We hypothesize that PAH derived particulates will distribute to vital organs (kidney, heart) of the selected fish species, resulting in focal damage due to ischemia and desorption of PAHs and metals from particulate surfaces. These findings could be used to further regulate particulate loadings into the environment, improve impervious surface construction, and impose stricter storm water/run-off regulations due to the impacts of valuable New Jersey fish resources found in receiving waters. There is a dearth of information on small particulates crossing respiratory and digestive mucosa, their toxicodynamics within the blood stream, and deposition into capillary beds within tissues. Abbreviations: EPA, Environmental Protection Agency; PAH, polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbon; PM, particulate matter; GCMS, Gas chromatography/Mass spectroscopy