Date of Award

Spring 1987

Document Type



Life & Environmental Sciences

First Advisor

John Christenson

Second Advisor

Jean Smith

Third Advisor

Jack Semmens


Small terrestrial vertebrates were trapped at three sites near Oak Ridge, Tennessee: East Fork Poplar Creek (EFPC) floodplain, White Oak Lake, and the ORNL steam plant. The sediment of the floodplain at EFPC was determined to be contaminated by polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAH's). Blood of the animals trapped was analyzed by HPLC/fluorescent spectrophotometry for benzo (a) pyrene (BaP), a carcinogenic PAH, to detect the movement of the BaP from the contaminated soil of the floodplain to the animals inhabiting the area. Chromatographs of blood from four white-footed mice (Peromvscus leucopus). two shorttail shrews (Blarina brevicauda). three cotton rats (Siamodon hispidus). and an Eastern box turtle (Terrepene Carolina Carolina) showed peaks of a substance whose retention time from the HPLC column was slightly longer than the retention time of the standard BaP tetrol peak. These peaks may represent BaP bound to impurities in the sample, causing the retention time to be lengthened slightly. However, further analysis must be done to determine if the peaks present are actually BaP. Modes of uptake of the BaP through the food chain or by soil contact are discussed