Open Access

Accumulation and elimination of14C-γ-HCH (lindane) inNereis virens (Polychaeta) with consideration of metabolites

  • H. Goerke1 and
  • W. Ernst1
Helgoländer Meeresuntersuchungen33:BF02414757


In two experiments, conducted at 6° and 16 °C, 43Nereis virens were exposed to14C-labelled γ-HCH (lindane) at a concentration of 1 µg/l, which was maintained by intermittent monitoring and redosing. A closed system with individuals living in glass tubes was used. At equilibrium and during the subsequent phase of elimination, both γ-HCH and metabolites were determined in individual worms as well as in the water and faeces throughout the entire experiment. The bioconcentration factors of γ-HCH were 480 and 440 at 6° and 16 °C, respectively; those based on total radioactivity were 500 and 410. These factors were in the upper range of those known for other aquatic animals. The elimination may be described by an exponential function. The initial 50% decrease of γ-HCH and γ-HCH+metabolites in the worms occurred at both temperatures in 2 and 3 days, respectively. The percentage of γ-HCH metabolites in worms increased considerably during the elimination period. At least four metabolites were detected in worms and water. If pollutants are evaluated by accumulation and elimination kinetics, metabolization has to be taken into account.