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The use of leeches to monitor aquatic PCB contamination at Mid-Canada Radar Line site 050: four years post-remediation.

Authors
Type
Published Article
Journal
Environmental Monitoring and Assessment
1573-2959
Publisher
Springer-Verlag
Publication Date
Volume
153
Issue
1-4
Pages
1–7
Identifiers
DOI: 10.1007/s10661-008-0332-4
PMID: 18478345
Source
Medline

Abstract

The Mid-Canada Radar Line (MCRL) was built by the Canadian government during the 1950s and closed in the 1960s. MCRL Site 050 located in close proximity to Fort Albany First Nation was a source of polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs); thus, this site was remediated in 2001. There has been concern in Fort Albany that the Albany River by MCRL Site 050 is still contaminated. We examined whether the aquatic environment surrounding MCRL Site 050 has returned to background levels four years post-remediation using leeches (Haemopis spp.) as bioindicators. Leech data for 2005 indicates that PCB levels remain higher near Site 050 than at the control site upstream; however, there has been a decrease in difference between Site 050 and the control site for leech body burden between years. Thus, the removal of the terrestrial source of PCB contamination at Site 050 appears to have removed the main source of aquatic PCBs.

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