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Sensors 2009, 9(3), 1807-1820; doi:10.3390/s90301807

Leeches as Sensor-bioindicators of River Contamination by PCBs

University of Veterinary and Pharmaceutical Sciences Brno, Department of Veterinary Public Health and Toxicology, Palackeho 1-3, 612 42 Brno, Czech Republic
Masaryk University, Faculty of Science, Research Centre for Environmental Chemistry and Ecotoxicology, Kamenice 126/3, 625 00 Brno, Czech Republic
University of South Bohemia Ceske Budejovice, Research Institute of Fish Culture and Hydrobiology, Vodnany, Zatisi 728/II, 389 25 Vodnany, Czech Republic
Szczecin University, Faculty of Natural Sciences, ul. Felczaka 3A, 71–412 Szczecin, Poland
Institute of Chemical Technology, Department of Food Chemistry and Analysis, Technicka 5, 166 28 Prague, Czech Republic
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Received: 23 February 2009 / Revised: 10 March 2009 / Accepted: 11 March 2009 / Published: 13 March 2009
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The aim of the study was to evaluate the use of leeches of the genus Erpobdella as a means of assessing polychlorinated biphenyl contamination of watercourses. The River Skalice, heavily contaminated with PCBs, was selected as a model. The source of contamination was a road gravel processing factory in Rožmitál pod Třemšínem from which an estimated 1 metric ton of PCBs leaked in 1986. Levels of PCB were measured in leeches collected between 1992 to 2003 from 11 sites covering about 50 km of the river (the first sampling site upstream to the source of contamination and 10 sites downstream). The PCB indicator congeners IUPA no. 28, 52, 101, 118, 138, 153, and 180 were measured. Levels were highest at the four sampling sites nearest the source of pollution. The highest values of PCB congeners were found in 1992. PCB content decreased from 1992 to 2003 and with distance from the source. The study indicated that leeches of the genus Erpobdella are a suitable bioindicator of contamination in the surface layer of river sediments.
Keywords: PCB indicator congeners; Skalice River; Erpobdella PCB indicator congeners; Skalice River; Erpobdella
This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License (CC BY 3.0).

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Macova, S.; Harustiakova, D.; Kolarova, J.; Machova, J.; Zlabek, V.; Vykusova, B.; Randak, T.; Velisek, J.; Poleszczuk, G.; Hajslova, J.; Pulkrabova, J.; Svobodova, Z. Leeches as Sensor-bioindicators of River Contamination by PCBs. Sensors 2009, 9, 1807-1820.

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