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University of Washington

Superfund Research Program

Environmental Stress Indicators for Fish at Superfund Sites: GC-MS and FT-IR Markers of Contaminant-Induced Damage to Gill Tissue

Project Leader: Donald C. Malins (Pacific NW Research Institute)
Grant Number: P42ES004696
Funding Period: 1995 - 2006

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Project Summary (2000-2006)

The goal of this project is to develop a model for the use of non-destructive gill biopsies of fish to monitor marine contamination at Superfund sites and identify changes in the health status of this resource. Researchers are collecting fish and marine sediments from contaminated locations and uncontaminated reference areas. The investigators then measure the aryl hydrogen (Ah)-inducing contamination in the marine sediments and perform histological examination of the liver, kidney and gill tissues and analyze DNA from each tissue using gas chromatography-mass spectrometry (GC-MS) and Fourier transform-infrared (FT-IR) spectroscopy. These results will increase understanding of the relationships between environmental contamination, histology and biomarkers relating to fish health.

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