Measuring nonpolar organic contaminant partitioning in three Norwegian sediments using polyethylene passive samplers.

Norwegian Institute for Water Research (NIVA), Oslo Centre for Interdisciplinary Environmental and Social Research, Gaustadalléen 21, NO-0349 Oslo, Norway.
Science of The Total Environment (Impact Factor: 3.16). 03/2012; 423:125-31. DOI: 10.1016/j.scitotenv.2012.02.027
Source: PubMed

ABSTRACT Freely dissolved pore water concentrations of polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs), polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs), penta- and hexachlorobenzene (PeCB and HCB), octachlorostyrene (OCS), p,p'-DDE and p,p'-DDD were measured in bottom sediments from three sites in Norway. Sediments were from Aker Brygge, site of a former shipyard in the inner part of Oslofjord, Frierfjord in the Grenlandsfjord area, impacted during the 50 year-long activity of a magnesium smelter plant, and from Kristiansand harbour, site with high industrial activity. Low density polyethylene (LDPE) membrane samplers were exposed to these sediments in laboratory incubation under constant and low-level agitation for periods of 1, 2, 6, 13, 23 and 50 days. Freely dissolved pore water concentrations were estimated from contaminant masses accumulated and sampling rates obtained from the measurement of kinetics of dissipation of performance reference compounds (PRCs). Marked differences in freely dissolved PAH concentrations and resulting organic carbon-normalised sediment-pore water partition coefficients, logK(TOC), between these three sediments could be observed despite the generally similar total sediment concentrations. In contrast with the PAH data, partitioning of PCBs and other organochlorine compounds (OCs) was relatively similar in all three sediments. For sediments from Frierfjord and Kristiansand, logK(TOC) values were lower for PCBs/OCs than for PAHs, indicating higher availability. Similar partitioning of PAHs and PCBs/OCs was found for sediments from Aker Brygge. No simple logK(oc)-logK(ow) relationships could model these data successfully. These results support the notion that the assessment of the risk posed by these compounds present in sediments in most cases requires actual measurement of contaminant availability.

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