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The toxicity of creosote‐treated wood to Pacific herring embryos and characterization of polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons near creosoted pilings in Juneau, Alaska

Duncan, Danielle L., Carls, Mark G., Rice, Stanley D., Stekoll, Michael S.
Environmental toxicology and chemistry 2017 v.36 no.5 pp. 1261-1269
Clupea pallasii pallasii, creosote, dose response, fish, hatching, larvae, polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons, samplers, swimming, teratogenicity, wood, Alaska
Polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs) from creosote exposure in the laboratory resulted in deleterious effects in developing Pacific herring (Clupea pallasi) embryos, and potentially toxic concentrations of PAHs were measured using passive water samplers at 1 of 3 harbor field sites in Juneau, Alaska, USA. Aqueous total PAH concentrations of 4.6 μg/L and 8.4 μg/L from creosote exposure resulted in skeletal defects and ineffective swimming in hatched larvae in the laboratory (10% effective concentrations) and were the most sensitive parameters measured. Hatch rates also suffered from creosote exposure in a dose‐dependent manner: at exposures between 5 μg/L and 50 μg/L total PAH, 50% of the population failed to hatch. Comparisons between laboratory and field deployed passive samplers suggested that for at least 1 harbor in Juneau, concentrations sufficient to induce teratogenic effects were found directly on creosoted pilings, within 10 cm of them, and sometimes at a distance of 10 m. Total PAH concentrations generally decreased with distance from creosoted pilings. Creosote pilings contribute to the PAH load within a marina and can rise to PAH concentrations that are harmful to fish embryos, but at a scale that is localized in the environment. Environ Toxicol Chem 2017;36:1261–1269. © 2016 SETAC