Inter-Research > DAO > v131 > n3 > p239-243  
Diseases of Aquatic Organisms

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DAO 131:239-243 (2018)  -  DOI:

Toxics source reduction and sewage upgrades eliminated winter flounder liver neoplasia (1984-2017) from Boston Harbor, MA, USA

Michael Moore1,*, Ann Pembroke2, Eric Nestler2, Maurice Hall3, Lisa Lefkovitz4, Mark Lambert3, Kenneth Keay3

1Biology Department, Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution, Woods Hole, MA 02543, USA
2Normandeau Associates Inc., Bedford, NH 03110, USA
3Massachusetts Water Resources Authority, Boston, MA 02129, USA
4Battelle Memorial Institute, Norwell, MA 02061, USA
*Corresponding author:

ABSTRACT: Chemical carcinogen biomarkers can validate public investment in environmental remediation. A major factor driving the clean-up of Boston Harbor, MA, USA, induced by the federal Clean Water Act legislation of 1972, was the high prevalence of petroleum and halogenated aromatic hydrocarbon contaminant-associated liver neoplasia in winter flounder Pseudopleuronectes americanus in the harbor in the 1980s. In the present study, we examined the spatial and temporal relationships between the suspended solids and contaminants in the municipal sewage discharge, and liver neoplasia and histopathology in flounder, from 1987 to 2017. Toxics source reduction, sewage treatment, and sludge removal in the 1990s and outfall relocation offshore in 2000 enabled a decreasing prevalence of persistent toxic chemicals in flounder, effluent, and sediment, and consequent disappearance of liver neoplasia and reduction of neoplasm-associated, hydropically vacuolated biliary epithelial cells to background levels. This supports long-term investment in elimination and treatment of anthropogenic waste streams and the value of federal regulatory mandates to maintain and improve regional environmental quality.

KEY WORDS: Boston · Sewage · Solids · Flounder · Neoplasia · Health

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Cite this article as: Moore M, Pembroke A, Nestler E, Hall M, Lefkovitz L, Lambert M, Keay K (2018) Toxics source reduction and sewage upgrades eliminated winter flounder liver neoplasia (1984-2017) from Boston Harbor, MA, USA. Dis Aquat Org 131:239-243.

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