Accumulation, metabolism, and release of benzo(a)pyrene from sea water by members of the genus Penaeus



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The accumulation of the carcinogen benzo(a)pyrene from sea water by member of the genus Penaeus, as well as its release and possible metabolism by the subject animal were studied. Radiolabeling techniques were used in which the concentrations of the tritiated carcinogen-pollutant in the ethanol soluble and ethanol insoluble fractions of the animals were measured. Accumulation occurred rapidly, reaching a concentration at least 150 times the ambient sea water concentration after only 180 minutes of incubation. This uptake was linear and was of a passive nature, probably the result of a partitioning of the benzo(a)pyrene into the nonpolar and lipid fractions of the animals. The accumulation into the ethanol soluble fraction was found to be some two orders of magnitude faster than the accumulation into the ethanol insoluble fraction of the animals.