Subacute toxicity of the water-soluble fractions of Kuwait crude oil and partially combusted crude oil on Menidia beryllina and Palaemonetes pugio

D. T. Gundersen, S. W. Kristanto, L. R. Curtis, S. N. Al-Yakoob, M. M. Metwally, D. Al-Ajmi

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

20 Citations (Scopus)


As a consequence of the 1991 Gulf War, a substantial amount of crude oil (CO) and partially combusted crude oil (PCO) were emitted into the environment. Therefore, the study objective was to evaluate the toxicity of the wilier soluble fraction (WSF) of CO and PCO on a fish, Menidia beryllina, and an invertebrate. Palaemonetes pugio, in 16-d flow-through tests. Specific growth rate (SGR) was studied as a function of total petroleum hydrocarbon (TPHC) concentration in water. Reductions in SGR were observed in fish exposed to PCO and CO WSFs, with TPHC water concentration being 10-fold higher in CO exposures (67-145 μg/L) than in PCO exposures (4-12 μg/L). Significant negative correlations were observed between TPHC concentration and fish SGR in both CO (r2= 0.730) and PCO (r2 = 0.867) exposures, with the slope being significantly lower for PCO exposures (-0.169) than CO exposures (-0.009). Differences between CO and PCO toxicity were not as clear in shrimp exposures due to slow growth rates and variability in TPHC concentrations. Qualitative PAH analysis indicated that naphthalene was present in the CO WSF whereas chrysene and benzo(a)pyrene were present in the PCO WSF. Heavy metal analysis of concentrated stock solutions indicated that the PCO WSF had substantially higher concentrations of some metals (Sr = 2,521 μg/L, B = 556 μg/L, and Ba = 130 μg/L) than the CO WSF in which concentrations were less than 55 μg/L. Fish and shrimp tissue analysis did not reveal any uptake of parent PAH compounds from the water, which may be attributed to the formation of PAH metabolites.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1-8
Number of pages8
JournalArchives of Environmental Contamination and Toxicology
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - Jul 1996


ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Environmental Science(all)
  • Environmental Chemistry
  • Toxicology

Cite this