The objective of this work was to study the dynamics of the level of organic versus inorganic contaminants in oysters following a significant spill of 15,000 t of heavy oil in the Eastern Mediterranean. Twenty oysters were harvested from each of six selected sites at 72 and 305 d subsequent to the oil spill. Results showed a significant decrease over time in the mean of the means of organic contaminants in oysters (total polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons [TPAH]: 0.354 vs. 0.177 μg g−1 dry weight, P < 0.05; total polychlorinated biphenyl [TPCB]: 0.031 vs. 0.021 μg g−1 dry weight, P < 0.05). Conversely, the mean of means of each of three heavy metals showed a significant increase over time (P < 0.05) (lead [Pb]: 2.791 vs. 3.543 μg g−1 dry weight, P < 0.05; nickel [Ni]: 6.732 vs. 17.682 μg g−1 dry weight; vanadium [V]: 1.874 vs. 15.833 μg g−1 dry weight). The importance of this pattern in oppositional dynamics of organic versus inorganic contaminants in oysters is discussed.
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Vol. 2009 • No. 254