Persistent, Bioaccumulative, Toxics Monitoring Program

The Persistent, Bioaccumulative, Toxics (PBT) Monitoring Program assesses levels of PBTs in the environment. The PBT Monitoring Program works on several targeted projects:  three long-term studies and occasional short-term projects to support Chemical Action Plans.

Long-Term Studies

Mercury in Fish Tissue

This project has monitored mercury trends in Washington fish since 2005. Long-term studies of other PBTs in fish tissue are conducted by the Washington State Toxics Monitoring Program, also here at Ecology.

Contaminants in Sediment Cores

This project has monitored the levels of PBTs in sediment cores from Washington lakes since 2006.

Lead in Suspended Particulate Matter

Ecology has monitored the amount of lead in suspended particles from streams and rivers at 15 sites since 2008.

Short-Term Studies

The PBT Monitoring Program also conducts short-term focused studies on particular places or compounds of concern in Washington State. Below are published reports of these studies.

Quality Assurance Project Plan: Statewide Survey of Per- and Poly-fluoroalkyl Substances in Washington State Rivers and Lakes describes the plan for a study to evaluate current levels of per- and poly-fluoroalkyl substances in water, fish tissue, and osprey eggs.

Brominated Flame Retardants, Alkylphenolic Compounds, and Hexabromocyclododecane in Freshwater Fish of Washington State Rivers and Lakes reports a study to evaluate current levels of emerging contaminants and PBTs from 44 fish from 11 waterbodies across Washington state.

Evaluation of Bisphenol A (BPA) in Products Regulated by the State of Washington Ecology conducted a study to evaluate levels of bisphenol A (BPA) in products regulated by the State of Washington in RCW 70.280.

Evaluation of XRF as a Screening Tool for Metals and PBDEs in Children’s Products and Consumer Goods Ecology evaluated the use of an X-ray Fluorescence (XRF) analyzer to screen for seven dangerous metals and one banned flame retardant.

Mercury Concentrations in Lake Ozette Sockeye (PDF, 293KB) During 2010, mercury levels were measured in 28 whole body and 10 fillet samples from Lake Ozette sockeye salmon.

Land Use Effects on Export and Retention of Mercury in the Lake Ozette Watershed The Lake Ozette watershed was sampled at three different locations during the fall and winter of 2008-2009 to assess mercury fluxes in logged and unlogged locations.

Perfluorinated Compounds in Washington Rivers and Lakes Ecology studied perfluorinated compounds (PFCs) in water, fish, and osprey eggs throughout the state in 2008.

PBT Monitoring: PBDE Flame Retardants in Spokane River Fish, 2009 Ecology and the US Geological Survey tested levels of Polybrominated Diphenyl Ether flame retardants in fish and osprey eggs along the Spokane River in Eastern Washington.

A Comparison of Two Analytical Methods for Measuring Mercury in Fish Tissue As a quality assurance measure, Ecology scientists conducted a study to evaluate measurement differences between two EPA methods for determining mercury in fish tissue.

For more information, contact Callie Mathieu via email or call 360-407-6965.


Measuring Lead in Suspended Particulate Matter 2013

Mercury Trends in Freshwater Fish 2014

PBTs in Sediment Cores 2013


Mercury Bioaccumulation in Freshwater Fishes of WA State, USA

Relative Importance of Wastewater Treatment Plants and Non-point Sources of Perfluorinated Compounds to WA State Rivers

Mercury Accumulation in Sediment Cores from Three WA State Lakes: Evidence for Local Deposition from a Coal-Fired Power Plant

Mercury Sources to Lake Ozette and Lake Dickey: Highly Contaminated Remote Coastal Lakes, Washington State, USA