Comparison of PCBs and PAHs levels in European coastal waters using mussels from the Mytilus edulis complex as biomonitors

M. Olenycz, A. Sokolowski, A. Niewinska, M. Wolowicz, J. Namiesnik, H. Hummel, J.M. Jansen

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

47 Citations (Scopus)


Mussels from the Mytilus edulis complex were used as biomonitors for two groups of organic pollutants: polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs, congeners: 28, 52, 101, 118, 138, 153 and 180) and polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs, naphthalene, acenaphthylene, acenaphthene, fluorene, phenanthrene, anthracene, fluoranthene, pyrene, benz(a)anthracene, chrysene, benzo(b)fluoranthene, benzo(k)fluoranthene, benzo(a)pyrene, indeno(1,2,3-cd)pyrene, dibenz(a,h)anthracene, benzo(g,h,i)perylene) at 17 sampling sites to assess their relative bioavailabilities in coastal waters around Europe. Because of the temporal differences in PCBs and PAHs concentrations, data were adjusted using Seasonal Variation Coefficients (SVC) before making large-scale spatial comparisons. The highest concentrations of PCBs were found near estuaries of large rivers flowing through urban areas and industrial regions. Elevated bioavailabilities of PAHs occurred in the vicinity of large harbors, urban areas, and regions affected by petroleum pollution as well as in some remote locations, which indicated long-range atmospheric deposition.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)196-211
JournalOceanologia = Oceanology
Publication statusPublished - 2015


  • polycyclic-aromatic-hydrocarbons
  • polychlorinated biphenyl congeners
  • chromatography mass-spectrometry
  • toxic equivalency factors
  • baltic sea
  • blue mussels
  • seasonal-variations
  • gas-chromatography
  • organic pollutants
  • marine-environment

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