Marine Ecology: Current and Future Developments

Volume: 1

Monitoring of Organic Pollutants: PCBs in Marine Ecosystem

Author(s): Rabeea Zafar, Muhammad Arshad, Kanza Naseer, Muhammad Arif Ali, Zaheer Ahmed and Deedar Nabi

Pp: 114-135 (22)

DOI: 10.2174/9789811412691119010011

* (Excluding Mailing and Handling)


Marine ecosystem is rich and diverse, and plays a vital role in maintaining the natural balance of the planet. Though, the chemical revolution brought many benefits to human civilization but it also affected natural ecosystem due to chemical pollution. Unfortunately, oceans are one of environmental compartments that is at the most receiving end of the chemical pollution. There is a need to monitor chemical pollution in oceans for its normal functioning and providing a healthy habitat to marine biota. The chemical pollution of polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs) is one of the most prominent types of organic contamination in the oceans. PCBs, comprising of 207 congeners, are considered legacy contaminants. PCBs are banned because of persistent, bioaccumulative and toxic attributes. Being hydrophobic in nature, they tend to bioaccumulate and bio-magnify, causing human health concerns that many of the sea organisms serve as food to human beings and other living organisms through food chain. Monitoring of PCBs in oceans can be done through various methods/techniques involving bio-indicators, biological monitoring, chemical monitoring, biomarkers and through isotopic analysis. The use of any single technique may not help in achieving the maximum control and monitoring of PCBs; so a use of combined approach is recommended to ensure proper monitoring of PCBs in the marine environment.

Keywords: Marine Ecosystem, PCBs Monitoring, Bioindicators, Control Measures, Isotopic analysis

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