Staff Publications

Staff Publications

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    'Staff publications' is the digital repository of Wageningen University & Research

    'Staff publications' contains references to publications authored by Wageningen University staff from 1976 onward.

    Publications authored by the staff of the Research Institutes are available from 1995 onwards.

    Full text documents are added when available. The database is updated daily and currently holds about 240,000 items, of which 72,000 in open access.

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    Towards the review of the European Union Water Framework management of chemical contamination in European surface water resources
    Brack, Werner ; Dulio, Valeria ; Ågerstrand, Marlene ; Allan, Ian ; Altenburger, Rolf ; Brinkmann, Markus ; Bunke, Dirk ; Burgess, Robert M. ; Cousins, Ian ; Escher, Beate I. ; Hernández, Félix J. ; Hewitt, L.M. ; Hilscherová, Klára ; Hollender, Juliane ; Hollert, Henner ; Kase, Robert ; Klauer, Bernd ; Lindim, Claudia ; Herráez, David López ; Miège, Cécil ; Munthe, John ; O'Toole, Simon ; Posthuma, Leo ; Rüdel, Heinz ; Schäfer, Ralf B. ; Sengl, Manfred ; Smedes, Foppe ; Meent, Dik van de; Brink, Paul J. van den; Gils, Jos van; Wezel, Annemarie P. van; Vethaak, A.D. ; Vermeirssen, Etienne ; Ohe, Peter C. von der; Vrana, Branislav - \ 2017
    Science of the Total Environment 576 (2017). - ISSN 0048-9697 - p. 720 - 737.
    Chemical legislation - Effect-based tools - Passive sampling - Prioritization of contaminants - Solution-oriented management - Water Framework Directive review

    Water is a vital resource for natural ecosystems and human life, and assuring a high quality of water and protecting it from chemical contamination is a major societal goal in the European Union. The Water Framework Directive (WFD) and its daughter directives are the major body of legislation for the protection and sustainable use of European freshwater resources. The practical implementation of the WFD with regard to chemical pollution has faced some challenges. In support of the upcoming WFD review in 2019 the research project SOLUTIONS and the European monitoring network NORMAN has analyzed these challenges, evaluated the state-of-the-art of the science and suggested possible solutions. We give 10 recommendations to improve monitoring and to strengthen comprehensive prioritization, to foster consistent assessment and to support solution-oriented management of surface waters. The integration of effect-based tools, the application of passive sampling for bioaccumulative chemicals and an integrated strategy for prioritization of contaminants, accounting for knowledge gaps, are seen as important approaches to advance monitoring. Including all relevant chemical contaminants in more holistic “chemical status” assessment, using effect-based trigger values to address priority mixtures of chemicals, to better consider historical burdens accumulated in sediments and to use models to fill data gaps are recommended for a consistent assessment of contamination. Solution-oriented management should apply a tiered approach in investigative monitoring to identify toxicity drivers, strengthen consistent legislative frameworks and apply solutions-oriented approaches that explore risk reduction scenarios before and along with risk assessment.

    Modeling bioaccumulation and biomagnification of nonylphenol and its ethoxylates in estuarine-marine food chains
    Korsman, J.C. ; Schipper, A.M. ; Vos, M.G. de; Heuvel-Greve, M.J. van den; Vethaak, A.D. ; Voogt, Pim de; Hendriks, A.J. - \ 2015
    Chemosphere 138 (2015). - ISSN 0045-6535 - p. 33 - 39.
    Biotransformation - Elimination - Toxicokinetics - Uptake - Western Scheldt estuary

    There are several studies on bioaccumulation and biomagnification of nonylphenol (NP) and its ethoxylates (NPEOs), but their toxico-kinetic mechanisms remain unclear. In the present investigation, we explored the accumulation of NP and NPEOs in estuarine-marine food chains with a bioaccumulation model comprising five trophic levels. Using this model, we estimated uptake and elimination rate constants for NPEOs based on the organisms' weight and lipid content and the chemicals' Kow. Further, we calculated accumulation factors for NP and NPEOs, including biota-sediment accumulation factors (BSAF) and biomagnification factors (BMF), and compared these to independent field measurements collected in the Western Scheldt estuary in The Netherlands and field data reported in the literature. The estimated BSAF values for NP and total NPEOs were below 1 for all trophic levels. The estimated BMF values were around 1 for all trophic levels except for the highest level (carnivorous mammals and birds). For this trophic level, the estimated BMF value varied between 0.1 and 2.4, depending on the biotransformation capacity. For all trophic levels, except primary producers, the accumulation estimates that accounted for biotransformation of NPEOs into NP were closer to the field data than model estimates that did not include biotransformation, indicating that NP formation by biotransformation of NPEOs might occur in organisms.

    Assessment of the environmental status of the coastal and marine aquatic environment in Europe: A plea for adaptive management
    Laane, R.W.P.M. ; Slijkerman, D.M.E. ; Vethaak, A.D. ; Schobben, J.H.M. - \ 2012
    Estuarine Coastal and Shelf Science 96 (2012)1. - ISSN 0272-7714 - p. 31 - 38.
    estrogenic endocrine disruption - flounder platichthys-flesus - ecological risk-assessment - critical load concept - precautionary principle - north-sea - water-quality - pelagic fish - chemicals - exposure
    Policymakers and managers have a very different philosophy and approach to achieving healthy coastal and marine ecosystems than scientists. In this paper we discuss the evolution of the assessment of the chemical status in the aquatic environment and the growing rift between the political intention (precautionary principle) and scientific developments (adaptive and evidence-based management) in the context of the pitfalls and practicalities confronting the current Marine Strategy Framework Directive (MSFD). The conclusion is that policymakers and water managers should move with the times and take on board new techniques that scientists are using to assess chemical status and apply new scientific developments in assessment studies of the chemical status. These new techniques, such as bioassays, are cheaper than the classic approach of checking whether concentrations of certain individual priority compounds comply with permissible thresholds. Additionally, they give more insight into the real impacts of chemical compounds
    Effects of cumulative stress on fish health near freshwater outlet sluices into the sea: A case study (1988-2005) with evidence fora contributing role of chemical contaminants
    Vethaak, A.D. ; Jol, J.G. ; Martinez-Gomez, C. - \ 2011
    Integrated Environmental Assessment and Management 7 (2011)3. - ISSN 1551-3793 - p. 445 - 458.
    Epizootic skin diseases in euryhaline flounder (Platichthys flesus) in the Dutch Wadden Sea were first reported in 1988. Particularly high prevalences of skin ulcers (up to one-third of individual fish being affected) were encountered in the vicinity of sluices draining freshwater from IJsselmeer Lake, in contrast with much lower levels in the freshwater bodies behind the sluices and open sea areas (
    Long-Term Trends in the Prevalence of Cancer and Other Major Diseases Among Flatfish in the Southeastern North Sea as Indicators of Changing Ecosystem Health
    Vethaak, A.D. ; Jol, J.G. ; Pieters, J.P.F. - \ 2009
    Environmental Science and Technology 43 (2009)6. - ISSN 0013-936X - p. 2151 - 2158.
    flounder platichthys-flesus - environmental-stress factors - dab limanda-limanda - estuarine waters - dutch coastal - liver - fish - lesions - exposure - skin
    This paper analyses and discusses spatial and temporal patterns in the prevalence of major skin diseases (lymphocystis, epidermal hyperplasia/papilloma, ulcers), intestinal parasite Glugea sp., and liver cancer in dab (Limanda limanda) and flounder (Platichthys flesus) in the Dutch section of the North Sea since the mid-1980s. We have attempted to relate disease prevalence trends in both species to chemical contaminant exposure and other relevant environmental factors including fish condition factor, population density, fishing activity, and water temperature. We observed a long-term decline in chemical-related liver cancer in the populations of both species since the early 1990s. Lymphocystis and skin ulcer (flounder only) have also displayed a significant decrease since then. We conclude that the widespread decline in the prevalence of several skin diseases and liver cancer in dab and flounder in Dutch waters in the past two decades is most likely due to the improved water quality and health conditions in this region.
    A retrospective analysis to explore the applicability of fish biomarkers and sediment bioassays along contaminated salinity transects
    Schipper, C.A. ; Lahr, J. ; Brink, P.J. van den; George, S.G. ; Hansen, P.D. ; Silva de Assis, H.C. Da; Oost, R. van der; Thain, J.E. ; Livingstone, D. ; Mitchelmore, C. ; Schooten, F.J. van; Ariese, F. ; Murk, A.J. ; Grinwis, G.C.M. ; Klamer, H. ; Kater, J. ; Postma, J.F. ; Werf, B. van der; Vethaak, A.D. - \ 2009
    ICES Journal of Marine Science 66 (2009)10. - ISSN 1054-3139 - p. 2089 - 2105.
    flounder platichthys-flesus - plaice pleuronectes-platessa - oxygen species production - united-kingdom estuarine - reporter gene assays - river tyne estuary - in-vitro bioassay - estrogenic activity - north-sea - organic contaminants
    Biological-effects monitoring in estuarine environments is complex as a result of strong gradients and fluctuations in salinity and other environmental conditions, which may influence contaminant bioavailability and the physiology and metabolism of the organisms. To select the most robust and reliable biological-effect methods for monitoring and assessment programmes, a large-scale field study was conducted in two estuarine transects in the Netherlands. The locations ranged from heavily polluted harbour areas (the ports of Rotterdam and Amsterdam) to cleaner coastal and freshwater sites. Assessment methods used included a variety of biomarkers in flounder (Platichthys flesus) and a range of in vitro (sediment extracts) and in vivo bioassays. Multivariate statistical analysis was applied to investigate correlations and relationships between various biological effects and contaminant levels in flounder liver or sediments. Several biological methods seemed to be too much affected by salinity differences for routine use in estuaries. The most discriminative biomarkers in the study were hepatic metallothionein content and biliary 1-OH pyrene in fish. Mechanism-based in vitro assays DR-CALUX and ER-CALUX applied to sediment extracts for screening of potential toxicity were much more responsive than in vivo bioassays with macro-invertebrates using survival as an endpoint
    Toxicity of analytically cleaned pentabromodiphenyl ether after prolonged exposure in estuarine European flounder (Platichthys flesus), and partial life-cycle exposure in fresh water zebrafish (Danio rerio)
    Kuiper, R.V. ; Vethaak, A.D. ; Canton, R.F. ; Anselmo, H. ; Dubbeldam, M. ; Brandhof, E.J. Van den; Leonards, P.E.G. ; Wester, P.W. ; Berg, M. - \ 2008
    Chemosphere 73 (2008)2. - ISSN 0045-6535 - p. 195 - 202.
    polybrominated diphenyl ethers - brominated flame retardants - carp cyprinus-carpio - cytochrome-p450 activity - embryonic exposure - liver morphology - thyroid-hormone - pbde mixture - north-sea - in-vivo
    Residues of polybrominated diphenylethers (PBDEs). extensively applied as flame retardants, are widely spread in the aquatic environment and biota. The present study investigates effects of the environmentally relevant lower brominated diphenylethers in two fish species in vivo under controlled laboratory conditions. Euryhaline flounder (Platichthys flesus) and freshwater zebrafish (Dunio rerio) were exposed to a range of concentrations of a commercial pentabromodiphenylether mixture, DE-71. Chemical analysis of exposed fish showed a pattern of PBDE congeners that was very similar to that in wild fish. The resulting range included environmentally relevant, as well as higher levels. Animals were investigated histopathologically with emphasis on endocrine and reproductive organs. In zebrafish, hatching of embryos and larval development were assessed. Biochemical parameters were investigated in flounder as markers for Suggested dioxin-like activity (ethoxyresorufin-O-deethylase = EROD), and activation of endogenous estrogen synthesis (gonad aromatase activity). Thyroid hormones were analyzed in plasma in both species. Benchmark analysis using internal PBDE concentrations showed a mild dose-dependent decrease of hepatic EROD and ovarian aromatase activities, and plasma thyroxin levels in flounder, and an increase of plasma thyroid hormone levels in zebrafish. These trends did not result in statistically significant differences from control fish, and major histopathological changes were not observed. Reproduction in zebrafish appeared to be the most sensitive parameter with statistically significantly reduced larval survival and non-significant indications for decreased egg production at internal levels that were more than 55 times the highest environmental recordings. The present results indicate limited risk for endocrine or reproductive effects of current environmental PBDE contamination in fish.
    A weight-of-evidence approach to assessing the ecological impact of organotin pollution in Dutch marine brackish waters; combining risk prognosis and field monitoring using common periwinkles (Littorina littorea)
    Schipper, R. ; Smit, M.G.D. ; Kaag, N.H.B.M. ; Vethaak, A.D. - \ 2008
    Marine Environmental Research 66 (2008)2. - ISSN 0141-1136 - p. 231 - 239.
    species-sensitivity distributions - buccinum-undatum - nucella-lapillus - scheldt estuary - intersex - netherlands - assumptions - imposex
    In the present study an integrated ecological risk assessment based on multiple lines of evidence (LOEs) was evaluated in order to better assess the risk from TBT in Dutch harbours and open coastal waters. On the basis of spatial distributions of measured tributyltin (TBT) concentrations in sediments and suspended matter, predictions of the intersex index (ISI) in Littorina littorea and the ecological risk expressed as the Potentially Affected Fraction (PAF) of species were made. The results were compared to actual ISI measurements and presence of L. littorea in the field. The PAF calculated on the basis of TBT levels for open coastal waters ranged from 4.2% to 15.3%; for harbours it ranged from 3.5% to 26.9%. Significant intersex levels were observed only in waters where the risk was calculated above 10% PAF. This study suggests that the absence of L. littorea from some harbours with high ecological risk values can be explained by high TBT concentrations. A call is made for the use of integrated approaches like weight-of-evidence (WOE) to help practitioners improve ecological risk assessment.
    Including sorption to black carbon in modelling bioaccumulation of polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons: Uncertainty analysis and comparison with field data
    Hauck, M. ; Hendriks, A.J. ; Huijbregts, M.J.A. ; Koelmans, A.A. ; Heuvel-Greve, M.J. van den; Moermond, C.T.A. ; Veltman, K. ; Vethaak, A.D. - \ 2007
    Environmental Science and Technology 41 (2007)8. - ISSN 0013-936X - p. 2738 - 2744.
    contaminated sediments - benthic invertebrates - rate constants - polychlorinated-biphenyls - organic contaminants - equilibrium ratios - species weight - mytilus-edulis - native pahs - accumulation
    Model estimations of bioaccumulation of polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs) have been higher than field or laboratory data. This has been explained by strong sorption to black carbon (BC). In this paper, eight previously published bioaccumulation datasets were reinterpreted in terms of additional BC sorption. Biota-Solids Accumulation Factors (BSAFs) of PAHs typically decreased by 1-2 orders of magnitude and were better in line with field data in marine, fresh water, and terrestrial ecosystems. Probabilistic BC-inclusive modeling showed that if BC content is not accurately known, uncertainty in BSAFs is 2-3 orders of magnitude (90 percentile confidence interval) due to uncertainty in the BC sorption term. When BC contents are measured, the deviation between model estimations and field measurements reduces to about a factor of 3. This implies that including routine measurements of BC contents is crucial in improving risk estimations of PAHs.
    The in vivo transgenic zebrafish reporter gene assay for bioanalysis of exposure and effects of estrogenic chemicals in the aquatic environment
    Legler, J. ; Zee, M. van der; Ven, L.T.M. van der; Jonkers, C.C.H. ; Vethaak, A.D. ; Burg, B. van der; Murk, A.J. - \ 2006
    In: Estrogens and xenoestrogens in the aquatic environment: An integrated approach for field monitoring and effect assessment / Vethaak, D., Schrap, M, de Voogt, P., Pensacola : SETAC-scientific book (SETAC Technical Publications Series ) - ISBN 9781880611852 - 512 p.
    Bioanalysis of estrogenic and dioxin-like activity in field samples
    Legler, J. ; Bulder, A.S. ; Voogt, P. de; Schrap, S.M. ; Murk, A.J. - \ 2006
    In: Estrogens and xeno-estrogens in the aquatic environment: An integrated approach for field monitoring and effect assessment / Voogt P. de Vethaak D., Schrap M., SETAC - ISBN 9781880611852 - 512 p.
    Integrated assessment of estrogens and xenoestrogens in the aquatic environment of the Netherlands: weight of evidence and ecological relevance
    Vethaak, A.D. ; Schrap, S.M. ; Lahr, J. ; Rijs, G.B.J. ; Voogt, P. de - \ 2006
    In: Estrogens and xenoestrogens in the aquatic environment: an integrated approach for field monitoring and effect assessment / Vethaak, D., Schrap, M., de Voogt, P., Pensacola FL (USA) / Brussels (Belgium) : SETAC - ISBN 9781880611852 - p. 315 - 334.
    A field survey of estrogenic effects in freshwater and marine fish in the Netherlands
    Lahr, J. ; Kuiper, R.V. ; Mullem, A. van; Verboom, B.L. ; Jol, J. ; Schout, P. ; Grinwis, G.C.M. ; Rouhani Rankouhi, T. ; Pieters, J.P.F. ; Gerritsen, A.A.M. ; Giesy, J.P. ; Vethaak, A.D. - \ 2006
    In: Estrogens and xenoestrogens in the aquatic environment: an integrated approach for field monitoring and effect assessment / Vethaak, D., Schrap, M., de Voogt, P., Pensacola FL (USA) / Brussels (Belgium) : SETAC - ISBN 9781880611852 - p. 151 - 178.
    Estrogenic effects of sewage treatment plant effluents on fish in in situ flow-through systems in the Netherlands, Germany, and Belgium
    Gerritsen, A.A.M. ; Kroon, A.G.M. ; Versonnen, B.J. ; Dubbeldam, M.C. ; Mullem, A. van; Pieters, J.P.F. ; Lahr, J. - \ 2006
    In: Estrogens and xenoestrogens in the aquatic environment: an integrated approach for field monitoring and effect assessment / Vethaak, D., Schrap, M., de Voogt, P., Pensacola FL (USA) / Brussels (Belgium) : SETAC - ISBN 9781880611852 - p. 231 - 256.
    A survey of estrogenic effects in fish in regional inland waters in the Netherlands receiving discharges from sewage treatment plants
    Lahr, J. ; Gerritsen, A.A.M. ; Klein Breteler, J.G.P. ; Dubbeldam, M.C. ; Mullem, A. van; Pieters, J.P.F. ; Rijs, G.B.J. - \ 2006
    In: Estrogens and xenoestrogens in the aquatic environment: an integrated approach for field monitoring and effect assessment / Vethaak, D., Schrap, M., de Voogt, P., Pensacola FL (USA) / Brussels (Belgium) : SETAC - ISBN 9781880611852 - p. 179 - 192.
    Reproductive abnormalities and possible causes in a common tern (Sterna hirundo) colony in the Netherlands
    Heuvel-Greve, M.J. van den; Belfroid, A.C. ; Bosveld, A.T.C. ; Hoekstein, M.S.J. ; Meininger, P.L. ; Vethaak, A.D. - \ 2006
    In: Controversies and solutions in environmental sciences; abstract book SETAC Europe 16th annual meeting. - Brussels (Belgium) : SETAC - p. 215 - 215.
    Accumulation of organochlorines and brominated flame retardants in estuarine and marine food chains: Field measurements and model calculations
    Veltman, K. ; Hendriks, J. ; Huijbregts, M. ; Leonards, P.E.G. ; Heuvel-Greve, M.J. van den; Vethaak, D. - \ 2005
    Marine Pollution Bulletin 50 (2005)10. - ISSN 0025-326X - p. 1085 - 1102.
    polybrominated diphenyl ethers - carp cyprinus-carpio - different trophic levels - seals phoca-vitulina - rate constants - equilibrium ratios - species weight - bioaccumulation - contaminants - metabolism
    Food chain accumulation of organochlorines and brominated flame retardants in estuarine and marine environments is compared to model estimations and fresh water field data. The food chain consists of herbivores, detritivores and primary and secondary carnivores i.e. fish, fish-eating birds and marine mammals. Accumulation of polychlorinated biphenyls is predicted well by OMEGA for herbi-detritivores and primary and secondary carnivorous fish. Ratios are similar to those found for fresh water species. Accumulation ratios for fish-eating birds and mammals are overestimated by the model, which is attributed partly to biotransformation of meta¿para unsubstituted congeners. Additionally, birds may feed in other less polluted areas. For brominated diphenylethers (BDE) accumulation patterns are highly species and congener specific. Accumulation depends on both Kow and metabolization capacities. BDE47 is the predominant congener in lower trophic levels. For marine birds and mammals accumulation ratios of BDE99 and 100 are similar to or higher than ratios of persistent PCBs
    An integrated assessment of estrogenic contamination and biological effects in the aquatic environment of the Netherlands
    Vethaak, A.D. ; Lahr, J. ; Schrap, S.M. ; Belfroid, A.C. ; Rijs, G.B.J. ; Gerritsen, A. ; Boer, J. de; Bulder, A.S. ; Grinwis, G.C.M. ; Kuiper, R.V. ; Legler, J. ; Murk, A.J. ; Peijnenburg, W. ; Verkaar, H.J.M. ; Voogt, P. de - \ 2005
    Chemosphere 59 (2005)4. - ISSN 0045-6535 - p. 511 - 524.
    waterverontreiniging - hormonen - aquatisch milieu - monitoring - nederland - aquatische ecosystemen - hormoonverstoorders - water pollution - hormones - aquatic environment - monitoring - netherlands - aquatic ecosystems - endocrine disruptors - sewage-treatment plants - flounder platichthys-flesus - reporter gene assays - e-screen assay - waste-water - surface-water - alkylphenol polyethoxylates - degradation-products - sexual disruption
    An extensive study was carried out in the Netherlands on the occurrence of a number of estrogenic compounds in surface water, sediment, biota, wastewater, rainwater and on the associated effects in fish. Compounds investigated included natural and synthetic hormones, phthalates, alkylphenol(ethoxylate)s and bisphenol-A. The results showed that almost all selected (xeno-)estrogens were present at low concentrations in the aquatic environment. Locally, they were found at higher levels. Hormones and nonylphenol(ethoxylate)s were present in concentrations that are reportedly high enough to cause estrogenic effects in fish. Field surveys did not disclose significant estrogenic effects in male flounder (Platichthys flesus) in the open sea and in Dutch estuaries. Minor to moderate estrogenic effects were observed in bream (Abramis brama) in major inland surface waters such as lowland rivers and a harbor area. The prevalence of feminizing effects in male fish is largest in small regional surface waters that are strougly influenced by sources of potential hormone-disrupting compounds. High concentrations of plasma vitellogenin and an increased prevalence of ovotestes occurred in wild male bream in a small river receiving a considerable load of effluent from a large sewage treatment plant. After employing in vitro and in vivo bioassays, both in situ and in the laboratory, we conclude that in this case hormones (especially 17a-ethynylestradiol) and possibly also nonylphenol(ethoxylate)s are primarily responsible for these effects.
    The environmental impact and recovery at two dumping sites for dredged material in the North Sea
    Stronkhorst, J. ; Ariese, F. ; Hattum, B. van; Postma, J.F. ; Kluijver, M. de; Besten, P. den; Bergman, M.J.N. ; Daan, R. ; Murk, A.J. ; Vethaak, A.D. - \ 2003
    Environmental Pollution 124 (2003). - ISSN 0269-7491 - p. 17 - 31.
    fresh-water isopods - dutch coastal zone - in-vitro bioassay - asterias-rubens l - polychlorinated-biphenyls - monooxygenase system - sediments - metals - toxicity - disposal
    The environmental impact and recovery associated with the long and uninterrupted disposal of large volumes of moderately contaminated dredged material from the port of Rotterdam was studied at nearby dumping sites in the North Sea. Observations were made on sediment contamination, ecotoxicity, biomarker responses and benthic community changes shortly after dumping at the 'North' site had ceased and at the start of disposal at the new dumping site 'Northwest'. During the period of dumping, very few benthic invertebrates were found at the North site. Concentrations of cadmium, mercury, polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs), polyaromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs) and tributyltin (TBT) in the fine sediment fraction (<63 mum) from this site were 2-3 times higher than at the reference site. In four different bioassays with marine invertebrates the sediments showed no acute toxic effects. In tissue (pyloric caeca) of resident starfish Asterias rubens, residual levels of mercury, zinc, PCBs and dioxin-like activity were never more than twice those at the reference site. Four different biomarkers (DNA integrity, cytochrome P450 content, benzo[a]pyrene hydroxylase activity and acetylcholinesterase inhibition) were used on the starfish tissues, but no significant differences were found between North and the reference site. Minor pathological effects were observed in resident dab Limanda limanda. One year after dumping had ceased at the North site, a significant increase in the species richness and abundance of benthic invertebrates and a concomitant decrease in the fine sediment fraction of the seabed were observed. After 8.2 million m(3) of moderately contaminated dredged material had been dumped at the new dumping site Northwest, the species richness and abundance of benthic invertebrates declined over an area extending about 1-2 km eastwards. This correlated with a shift in sediment texture from sand to silt. The contamination of the fine sediment fraction at the Northwest location doubled. It is concluded that marine benthic resources at and around the dumping sites have been adversely affected by physical disturbance (burial, smothering). However, no causal link could be established with sediment-associated contaminants from the dredged spoils. (C) 2003 Elsevier Science Ltd. All rights reserved.
    Detection of estrogenic activity in sediment-associated compounds using in vitro reporter gene assays
    Legler, J. ; Dennekamp, M. ; Vethaak, A.D. ; Brouwer, A. ; Koeman, J.H. ; Burg, B. van der; Murk, A.J. - \ 2002
    Science of the Total Environment 293 (2002). - ISSN 0048-9697 - p. 69 - 83.
    sediment - oestrogenen - toxische stoffen - afvalwater - organisch bodemmateriaal - hormonen - waterbodems - xenobiotica - waddenzee - sediment - oestrogens - hormones - toxic substances - waste water - soil organic matter - water bottoms - xenobiotics - wadden sea - in-vitro - saccharomyces-cerevisiae - polychlorinated-biphenyls - environmental estrogens - receptor - activation - metabolism - mechanism - system - transcription
    Sediments may be the ultimate sink for persistent (xeno-) estrogenic compounds released into the aquatic environment. Sediment-associated estrogenic potency was measured with an estrogen receptor-mediated luciferase reporter gene (ER-CALUX) assay and compared with a recombinant yeast screen. The ER-CALUX assay was more sensitive to 17beta-estradiol (E2) than the recombinant yeast screen, with an EC50 of 6 pM E2 compared to 100 pM in the yeast screen. Yeast cells were unable to distinguish the anti-estrogens ICI 182 780 and (4-hydroxy)tamoxifen, which were agonistic in the yeast. Acetone-soluble fractions of hexane/acetone extracts of sediments showed higher estrogenic potency than hexane-soluble extracts in the ER-CALUX assay. Sediments obtained from industrialized areas such as the Port of Rotterdam showed the highest estrogenic potency of the 12 marine sediments tested (up to 40 pmol estradiol equivalents per gram sediment). The estrogenic activity of individual chemicals that can be found in sediments including: alkylphenol ethoxylates and carboxylates; phthalates; and pesticides, was tested. Increasing sidechain length of various nonylphenol ethoxylates resulted in decreased estrogenic activity. Of the phthalates tested, butylbenzylphthalate was the most estrogenic, though with a potency approximately 100 000 times less than E2. The organochlorine herbicides atrazine and simazine failed to induce reporter gene activity. As metabolic activation may be required to induce estrogenic activity, a metabolic transformation step was added to the ER-CALUX assay using incubation of compounds with liver microsomes obtained from PCB-treated rats. Results indicate that metabolites of E2, NP and bisphenol A were less active than the parent compounds, while metabolites of methoxychlor were more estrogenic following microsomal incubations. (C) 2002 Elsevier Science B.V. All rights reserved.
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