Severe coal tar sealcoat runoff toxicity to fish is prevented by bioretention filtration

McIntyre, Jenifer K., Edmunds, Richard C., Analucion, Bernadita F., Davis, Jay W., Incardona, John P., Stark, John D., and Scholz, Nathaniel L. (2016) Severe coal tar sealcoat runoff toxicity to fish is prevented by bioretention filtration. Environmental Science and Technology, 50 (3). pp. 1570-1578.

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Coal tar sealcoats applied to asphalt surfaces in North America, east of the Continental Divide, are enriched in petroleum-derived compounds, including polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs). The release of PAHs and other chemicals from sealcoat has the potential to contaminate nearby water bodies, reducing the resiliency of aquatic communities. Despite this, relatively little is known about the aquatic toxicology of sealcoat-derived contaminants. We assessed the impacts of stormwater runoff from sealcoated asphalt on juvenile coho salmon (Oncorhynchus kisutch) and embryo-larval zebrafish (Danio rerio). We furthermore evaluated the effectiveness of bioretention as a green stormwater method to remove PAHs and reduce lethal and sublethal toxicity in both species. We applied a coal tar sealcoat to conventional asphalt and collected runoff from simulated rainfall events up to 7 months postapplication. Whereas sealcoat runoff was more acutely lethal to salmon, a spectrum of cardiovascular abnormalities was consistently evident in early life stage zebrafish. Soil bioretention effectively reduced PAH concentrations by an order of magnitude, prevented mortality in juvenile salmon, and significantly reduced cardiotoxicity in zebrafish. Our findings show that inexpensive bioretention methods can markedly improve stormwater quality and protect fish health.

Item ID: 51383
Item Type: Article (Research - C1)
ISSN: 1520-5851
Funders: Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), National Ocean Services, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service
Projects and Grants: EPA DW-14-95791701-1, NOAA Award No. NA14OAR4170078
Date Deposited: 02 Nov 2017 01:24
FoR Codes: 31 BIOLOGICAL SCIENCES > 3105 Genetics > 310505 Gene expression (incl. microarray and other genome-wide approaches) @ 50%
41 ENVIRONMENTAL SCIENCES > 4104 Environmental management > 410402 Environmental assessment and monitoring @ 50%
SEO Codes: 96 ENVIRONMENT > 9605 Ecosystem Assessment and Management > 960511 Ecosystem Assessment and Management of Urban and Industrial Environments @ 50%
96 ENVIRONMENT > 9611 Physical and Chemical Conditions of Water > 961101 Physical and Chemical Conditions of Water for Urban and Industrial Use @ 50%
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