The bioaccumulation and bioavailability of polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs) were characterized in sediment and Paphia undulata (short-neck clam) from six mudflat areas in the west coasts of Peninsular Malaysia. The concentrations of total PAHs varied from 357.1 to 6257.1 and 179.9 ± 7.6 to 1657.5 ± 53.9 ng g -1 dry weight in sediment and short-neck clam samples, respectively. PAHs can be classified as moderate to very high level of pollution in sediments and moderate to high level of pollution in short-neck clams. The diagnostic ratios of individual PAHs and principal component analysis indicate both petrogenic and pyrogenic sources with significant dominance of pyrogenic source. The first PAHs biota-sediment accumulation factors and relative biota-sediment accumulation factors data for short-neck clam were obtained in this study, indicating a preferential accumulation of lower molecular weight PAHs. Evaluation of PAH levels in sediments and short-neck clams indicates that short-neck clam could be introduced as a good biomonitor in mudflats. The results also demonstrated that under environmental conditions, the sedimentary load of hydrocarbons appears to be one of the factors controlling their bioavailability to biota.
* Title and MeSH Headings from MEDLINE®/PubMed®, a database of the U.S. National Library of Medicine.