[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Sediments and green-lipped mussels, Perna viridis, were used to investigate concentrations of polybrominated diphenyl ethers (PBDEs) in Hong Kong's marine environment. PBDEs have been used extensively over the past two decades as flame retardants in polymer additives for a variety of plastics, computers, furniture, building materials, and fabrics. Many measurements of PBDEs in various environmental matrices have been reported from Belgium, Holland, Japan, Europe and North America, but few measurements are available for the southeast Asian region and Hong Kong. PBDE congeners (n=15) were measured in 13 sediments and nine mussel samples, taken from Hong Kong marine waters. The Sigma15PBDEs in sediments ranged between 1.7 and 53.6 ng g(-1) dry wt, with the highest concentrations located around the most heavily populated areas of Victoria Harbour and Sai Kung, while the lowest concentrations of Sigma15PBDEs were found at more remote locations of Sha Tau Kok, Wong Chuk Bay, Castle Peak Bay, and Gold Coast. Sigma15PBDEs ranged from 27.0 to 83.7 ng g(-1) dry wt of mussel tissues. Although not identical, most of the congeners in sediments were found in mussel tissues, with BDE-47, BDE-99, BDE-153 and BDE-183 being the most prominent in both matrices. On the basis of a literature survey, the concentrations of PBDEs reported in Hong Kong sediments and mussel tissues are amongst the highest in the world.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Experimental bioassays are currently used in ecotoxicology and environmental toxicology to provide information for risk assessment evaluation of new chemicals and to investigate their effects and mechanisms of action; in addition, ecotoxicological models are used for the detection, control, and monitoring of the presence of pollutants in the environment. As a single bioassay will never provide a full picture of the quality of the environment, a representative, cost-effective, and quantitative test battery should be developed. In this study, the effects of 4-aminobiphenyl (4-ABP) were investigated using a battery of ecotoxicological model systems, including immobilization of Daphnia magna, development of zebrafish embryos, and inhibition of mammalian cell proliferation. The growth inhibition effects of 4-ABP were assessed on mouse connective tissue fibroblast cells (L929 cells) and human hepatocelluar carcinoma cells (HepG2 cells) by using a 3-(4,5-dimethylthiazol-2-yl)-2,5-diphenyl-2H-trazolium bromide reduction assay. The results reveal that 4-aminobiphenyl is toxic for aquatic organisms and mammalian cells. The system most sensitive to 4-aminobiphenyl is D. magna immobilization, followed by development of zebrafish embryos, and inhibition of cell proliferation. L929 and HepG2 cell growth inhibition bioassays show low sensitivity. These findings indicate that a single model for the possible harmful effect of 4-ABP has its limitations; only a test battery, composed of bioassays on different species, can provide an accurate assessment of the action of 4-ABP in the whole environment.