Table of Contents
International Journal of Oceanography
Volume 2012 (2012), Article ID 838320, 8 pages
Research Article

Bioaccumulation of Polycyclic Aromatic Hydrocarbons and Mercury in Oysters (Crassostrea rhizophorae) from Two Brazilian Estuarine Zones

1Laboratório de Biogeoquímica Ambiental (LBGqA)–Núcleo de Estudos, Diagnósticos e Intervenções Ambientais (NEDIA), Departamento de Química, UFSCar, Rod. Washington Luiz, 13565-905 São Carlos, SP, Brazil
2Centro de Ciências do Mar e Meio Ambiente, Baixada Santista UNIFESP, Avenida Dona Costa, 95, 11060-001 Santos, SP, Brazil
3Campus Experimental do Litoral Paulista, Universidade Estadual Paulista, Pça. Infante D. Henrique, s/no, 11330-900 São Vicente, SP, Brazil
4Laboratório de Poços de Caldas (LAPOC), CNEN, Comissão Nacional de Energia Nuclear, Rodovia Andradas, km 13, 37701-970 Poços de Caldas, MG, Brazil

Received 18 April 2012; Revised 19 June 2012; Accepted 19 June 2012

Academic Editor: Roberto Danovaro

Copyright © 2012 Ronaldo J. Torres et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


Nowadays, organisms are increasingly being used in biomonitoring to assess bioavailability and bioaccumulation of contaminants. This approach can use both native and transplanted organisms in order to accomplish this task. In Brazil, most of the studies related to bioaccumulation of contaminants in oysters deal with metals. The present work employs this kind of test in Brazilian coastal estuaries (Santos and Paranaguá) to evaluate total mercury and polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbon contamination in sediments and oysters (native and caged Crassostrea rhizophorae). The methodologies employed were based on known USEPA methods. Results have shown a significant contamination in Santos sediments and consequent bioavailability of organisms. Paranaguá sediments presented lower contamination in sediments, but native oysters were able to accumulate total Hg. The experiments done with caged oysters did not show significant bioaccumulation of Hg and PAHs in the Paranaguá site, but proved to be an excellent tool to assess bioavailability in the Santos estuary since they were able to bioaccumulate up to 1,600% of total PAH in the samples from the inner part of this estuary when compared to control organisms. Multivariate statistical analyses employed to these results have separated the sites evaluated and the most contaminated samples from the least contaminated.