Northwest Fisheries Science Center

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Document Type: Journal Article
Center: NWFSC
Document ID: 9013
Title: Determining potential adverse effects in marine fish exposed to pharmaceuticals and personal care products with the fish plasma model and whole-body tissue concentrations
Author: James P. Meador, Andrew Yeh, Evan P. Gallagher
Publication Year: 2017
Journal: Environmental Pollution
Volume: 230
Pages: 1018-1029

The Fish Plasma Model (FPM) was applied to water exposure and tissue concentrations in fish collected
from two wastewater treatment plant impacted estuarine sites. In this study we compared predicted fish
plasma concentrations to Cmax values for humans, which represents the maximum plasma concentration
for the minimum therapeutic dose. The results of this study show that predictions of plasma concentrations
for a variety of pharmaceutical and personal care products (PPCPs) from effluent
concentrations resulted in 37 compounds (54%) exceeding the response ratio (RR = Fish [Plasma]/1%
Cmaxtotal) of 1 compared to 3 compounds (14%) detected with values generated with estuarine receiving
water concentrations. When plasma concentrations were modeled from observed whole-body tissue
residues, 16 compounds out of 24 detected for Chinook (67%) and 7 of 14 (50%) for sculpin resulted in an
RRtissue value greater than 1, which highlights the importance of this dose metric over that using estuarine
water. Because the tissue residue approach resulted in a high percentage of compounds with
calculated response ratios exceeding a value of unity, we believe this is a more accurate representation
for exposure in the field. Predicting plasma concentrations from tissue residues improves our ability to
assess the potential for adverse effects in fish because exposure from all sources is captured. Tissue
residues are also more likely to represent steady-state conditions compared to those from water exposure
because of the inherent reduction in variability usually observed for field data and the time course
for bioaccumulation. We also examined the RR in a toxic unit approach to highlight the importance of
considering multiple compounds exhibiting a similar mechanism of action.

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Theme: Habitats to Support Sustainable Fisheries and Recovered Populations
Foci: Characterize relationships between habitat and ecosystem processes, climate variation, and the viability of organisms.
Assess the impacts of toxic chemicals and other pollutants across biological scales, and identify pollution reduction strategies that improve habitat quality.