Nontargeted Screening of Halogenated Organic Compounds in Fish Fillet Tissues from the Great Lakes


Fish have been used for decades

as bioindicators for assessing toxic contaminants in the Great Lakes ecosystem. Routine environmental monitoring programs target predetermined compounds that do not reflect the complete exposure of chemicals to biota and do not provide the complete halogenated fingerprint of the biota. In the current work, a nontargeted screening method was developed using a two-dimensional gas chromatograph coupled to a high-resolution time-of-flight mass spectrometer and was applied to 149 edible fish fillets from different species in the Great Lakes to characterize a more robust set of halogenated organic compounds across species and among lakes. Lake Ontario had the largest number of novel halogenated organic compounds (NHOCs). Seven NHOCs were observed in species from all lakes, indicating that this regional signature was not species-dependent. Hierarchical cluster analysis showed identical NHOC profiles between bottom dwelling and pelagic species. The NHOCs were grouped into seven clusters with similar structures and potentially similar environmental behaviors. Seven of the 29 NHOCs likely containing methoxy or ethoxy groups on a benzene or benzene-methanol backbone were clustered into one group with similar retention times. Five NHOCs were clustered with legacy contaminants that likely have similar structures or are their degradation products.

Authors: Aikebaier Renaguli, Sujan Fernando, Philip K Hopke, Thomas M Holsen, Bernard S Crimmins
; Full Source: Environmental science & technology 2020 Nov 9. doi: 10.1021/acs.est.0c05078.