James K.H. Fang

City University of Hong Kong, Chiu-lung, Kowloon City, Hong Kong

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Publications (4)15.29 Total impact

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    ABSTRACT: The sensitivities of using hepatic and intestinal ethoxyresorufin-O-deethylase (EROD) activities and hepatic accumulation of secondary/tertiary (2 degrees/3 degrees) lysosomes to detect xenobiotic exposures were assessed in the rabbitfish Siganus oramin in a metropolitan harbour, subtropical Hong Kong, over a complete seasonal cycle of one year. Additional information on the body-burden pollutants and physiological indices in S. oramin, and seasonal variables in seawater quality, were extracted from published data and re-analyzed. Under the influences of pollutant cocktail and seasonal factors, neither the hepatic nor intestinal EROD activity was indicative of total polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (Sigma PAH), total polychlorinated biphenyls, condition factor and hepatosomatic index (HSI) in S. oramin. However, the relative ratio of hepatic to intestinal EROD activities provided an indication to differentiate the xenobiotic intake route in the fish through diffusion via gills/skin or consumption of contaminated food. In addition, the elevated hepatic accumulation of 2 degrees/3 degrees lysosomes was closely associated with the dominant temporal trends of zinc and Sigma PAH, as well as reduced HSI, in S. oramin. Being minimally influenced by any investigated seasonal factors, the hepatic 2 degrees/3 degrees lysosomes in S. oramin was recommended as an effective biomarker of xenobiotic exposures and toxic effects for use in coastal pollution monitoring programmes.
    Full-text · Article · Sep 2010 · Science of The Total Environment
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    ABSTRACT: Lysosomal integrity in mussels is widely used as a biomarker in coastal environments to demonstrate exposure to trace organic pollutants. However, few studies have determined the long-term influences of seasonal variations on the bioaccumulation of trace organics and subsequently altered response of lysosomal integrity in mussels. This study aimed to test three null hypotheses that (1) bioaccumulations of total polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbon (SigmaPAH) and (2) total polychlorinated biphenyl (SigmaPCB), and (3) lysosomal integrity as indicated by Neutral Red retention time (NRRT) in haemocytes, in the green-lipped mussel Perna viridis were not seasonally dependent. The tissue concentrations of SigmaPAH and SigmaPCB and haemocytic NRRT were determined in P. viridis in a metropolitan harbour, subtropical Hong Kong during the wet and dry seasons from 2004 to 2007. Additional information on temperature, salinity, dissolved oxygen and total ammonia nitrogen in seawater, and sediment levels of SigmaPAH and SigmaPCB, were extracted from published data and re-analyzed. Our results accepted all null hypotheses, based on the minimal seasonal influences of seawater temperature and salinity on all studied parameters, in which no significant differences between the wet and dry seasons were detected. The seasonal effect was likely outweighed by the greatly improved water quality and pollution abatement noted inside the harbour, with a gradual shift in mussel PAHs from a pyrolytic origin to a petrogenic origin. Spatially, the site east of the harbour was relatively unpolluted. The single use of NRRT in P. viridis explained 25% of the total variation of the integrated pollution patterns in seawater, sediments and mussels. The present study suggested that the dynamic change of trace organics could be reflected by the response on lysosomal integrity in P. viridis, which was recommended as a routine screening biomarker in monitoring of harbour water quality across seasons.
    No preview · Article · Feb 2010 · Science of The Total Environment
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    ABSTRACT: Muscle concentrations of polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs) and polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs) were determined in rabbitfish Siganus oramin collected from Victoria Harbour and its vicinity, Hong Kong from 2004 to 2007. Spatially, relatively higher levels of [summation operator]PAH (1.05-4.26 microg g(-1)) and [summation operator]PCB (45.1-76.9 ng g(-1)) were determined in the central and western sites inside the harbour. Temporally, upward trend of [summation operator]PAH, accompanied with a proportion shift from high molecular weight to low molecular weight PAHs, was detected during the three-year study period, suggesting a heavier marine traffic in Victoria Harbour and its western region. However, human health risk assessment based on five individual PAHs indicated that PAHs in fish muscles posed minimal health risk through consumption. In contrast, a downward trend of [summation operator]PCB was registered as the open use of PCBs has been banned. Despite this, the level of [summation operator]PCB in fish muscles still posed a health risk on the local people who have a high fish consumption rate. While seasonal influences on [summation operator]PAH/[summation operator]PCB accumulation in S. oramin seemed to be negligible, our findings in S. oramin were in line with the established PAH and PCB levels in sediments and/or mussels from the harbour, suggesting S. oramin can be used as a model fish species for monitoring PAHs and PCBs in the region.
    Full-text · Article · May 2009 · Science of The Total Environment
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    ABSTRACT: Due to growing concerns regarding persistent organic pollutants (POPs) in the environment, extensive studies and monitoring programs have been carried out in the last two decades to determine their concentrations in water, sediment, and more recently, in biota. An extensive review and analysis of the existing literature shows that whilst the vast majority of these efforts either attempt to compare (a) spatial changes (to identify "hot spots"), or (b) temporal changes to detect deterioration/improvement occurring in the environment, most studies could not provide sufficient statistical power to estimate concentrations of POPs in the environment and detect spatial and temporal changes. Despite various national POPs standards having been established, there has been a surprising paucity of emphasis in establishing accurate threshold concentrations that indicate potential significant threats to ecosystems and public health. Although most monitoring programs attempt to check compliance through reference to certain "environmental quality objectives", it should be pointed out that many of these established standards are typically associated with a large degree of uncertainty and rely on a large number of assumptions, some of which may be arbitrary. Non-compliance should trigger concern, so that the problem can be tracked down and rectified, but non-compliance must not be interpreted in a simplistic and mechanical way. Contaminants occurring in the physical environment may not necessarily be biologically available, and even when they are bioavailable, they may not necessarily elicit adverse biological effects at the individual or population levels. As such, we here argue that routine monitoring and reporting of abiotic and biotic POPs concentrations could be of limited use, unless such data can be related directly to the assessment of public health and ecological risks. Risk can be inferred from the ratio of predicted environmental concentration (PEC) and the predicted no effect concentration (PNEC). Currently, the paucity of data does not allow accurate estimation of PNEC, and future endeavors should therefore, be devoted to determine the threshold concentrations of POPs that can cause undesirable biological effects on sensitive receivers and important biological components in the receiving environment (e.g. keystone species, populations with high energy flow values, etc.), to enable derivation of PNECs based on solid scientific evidence and reduce uncertainty. Using the threshold body burden of POPs required to elicit damages of lysosomal integrity in the green mussel (Perna virvidis) as an example, we illustrate how measurement of POPs in body tissue could be used in predicting environmental risk in a meaningful way.
    Full-text · Article · Jan 2008 · Marine Pollution Bulletin