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Bioaccumulation of selected veterinary medicinal products (VMPs) in the blue mussel (Mytilus edulis)

Academic article
Year of publication
Science of the Total Environment
External websites
S J Brooks, A Ruus, J T Rundberget, A Kringstad, A Lillicrap


Veterinary medicinal products (VMPs) are widely used within the fish farming industry to control sea lice infestations. There is concern that wild and farmed mussels in the vicinity to these fish farms may be exposed and subsequently bioaccumulate these chemicals, which could pose a threat to human health. To understand the fate of these chemicals in the environment, controlled laboratory exposures were performed to establish the uptake and depuration of selected VMPs in the blue mussel (Mytilus edulis). The VMPs included teflubenzuron, emamectin benzoate and deltamethrin. The effects of salinity on the bioaccumulation of teflubenzuron were also investigated to see whether mussels in brackish waters exhibit different bioaccumulation dynamics. Salinity had no significant effect on the uptake or depuration curves for teflubenzuron down to 15‰. The uptake rate constants (k1) for teflubenzuron, emamectin benzoate and deltamethrin in mussels were 192, 4.82 and 2003, with kinetic bioconcentration factors (BCFs) of 1304, 49 and 2516. Depuration rate constants (k2) were also found to differ between the three VMPs at 0.147, 0.048 and 0.796 for teflubenzuron, emamectin benzoate and deltamethrin, with calculated elimination half-lives (t1/2)of 4.7, 14 and 0.87 days. The longer elimination half-lives for teflubenzuron and emamectin benzoate, suggest that these chemicals accumulate in blue mussels and therefore have the potential to bioaccumulate in wild and farmed mussel populations in the environment.