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Polychlorinated biphenyls in the surficial sediment of Indiana Harbor and Ship Canal, Lake Michigan

Department of Applied Environmental Science, Stockholm University, Stockholm, Sweden
Environment international (Impact Factor: 5.66). 11/2010; 36(8):849-854. DOI: 10.1016/j.envint.2009.01.015

ABSTRACT We report the results of the first intensive survey of polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs) in the surficial sediment of the Indiana Harbor and Ship Canal (IHSC) in East Chicago, Indiana, a part of the Calumet River tributary of Lake Michigan that will be dredged to maintain depth for ship traffic. The tributary has previously been reported to be a large source of PCBs to Lake Michigan. PCB congeners were measured using tandem mass spectrometry in multiple reaction monitoring mode, a method that provides a high level selectivity and sensitivity for PCBs in complex environmental samples. The PCB concentrations (sum of 163 congeners or coeluting peaks) range from 53 to 35,000 ng g− 1 dry weight (d.w.) and are comparable to other PCB concentrations at contaminated tributaries in the United States, most of them (although not IHSC) established by law as Superfund sites. The PCB congener signal strongly resembles the original technical mixture Aroclor 1248 that has experienced a small amount of weathering — less than 2.5% by mass for the statistically different congeners — consistent with desorption, volatilization, and microbial dechlorination. The origin of the PCBs in IHSC is not known but Aroclor 1248 was used in hydraulic fluids, vacuum pumps, plasticizers and adhesives. Possible uses of this mixture in East Chicago included the equipment and auxiliary services for the adjacent steel mill and gas refinery and/or lubrication for the drawbridges spanning the canal.

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    • "Geometric mean concentrations of Aroclor 1254, 1248, 1260, and 1016 were 1500, 2800, 680, 180 ng/g dw, respectively, and are similar to the levels we found (Metropolitan Water Reclamation District of Greater Chicago, 2006). Sediment in the Indiana Harbor and Ship Canal, designated as an area of concern due to contamination of heavy metals, PAHs, and PCBs, had an average total PCB concentration of 8700 ng/g dw (Martinez et al., 2010); these levels are the same order of magnitude as the most contaminated site in the CSSC. "
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    ABSTRACT: The Chicago Sanitary and Ship Canal (CSSC) links the Great Lakes to the Mississippi River starting in downtown Chicago. In addition to storm water, the CSSC receives water from Chicago's wastewater treatment plants (WWTP). Such effluents are known to be sources of organic pollutants to water and sediment. Therefore in 2013, we collected 10 sediment samples from the CSSC and measured the concentrations of polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs), polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs), brominated flame retardants, and organophosphate esters (OPEs). Geometric mean concentrations of the summed concentrations of 16 PAHs ranged from 11,000 to 420,000ng/gdw, with the highest concentrations located at each end of the canal. Total PCB concentrations had a geometric mean of 1400±500ng/gdw. Brominated flame retardants were separated into two groups: polybrominated diphenyl ethers (PBDEs) and non-PBDEs. Concentrations of PBDEs and those of the non-PBDE flame retardants had a geometric average of 83±19 and 7.0±5.8ng/gdw, respectively. The summed concentrations of 8 OPEs ranged from 470 to 2800ng/gdw, with the highest concentration detected at a site located downstream of the Stickney water reclamation plant. Using ANOVA results, some hypotheses on sources to the CSSC could be formulated: downtown Chicago is probably a source of PAHs, the Cal-Sag Channel may be a source of PCBs, and neither the WWTP nor the Cal-Sag Channel seem to be significant sources of brominated flame retardants or OPEs. Copyright © 2015 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.
    Chemosphere 05/2015; 134:380-386. DOI:10.1016/j.chemosphere.2015.04.065 · 3.50 Impact Factor
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    • "Heavy congeners are more persistent in soil due to lower volatility; light congeners degrade more rapidly and migrate faster (Notarianni et al., 1998); dominance of light congeners may be a sign of degradation of heavy congeners (Sivey and Lee, 2007). PCBs may persist at toxic levels in sediments, despite dredging, particularly in downstream reaches of a contaminated river system (Cieniawski and Collier, 2003) and dredging may, increase exposure to PCBs (Martinez et al., 2010). PCBs in soil and sediment may be broken down by biodegradation (Faroon et al., 2003; D'Angelo and Nunez, 2010). "
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    ABSTRACT: The U.S. Department of Energy Portsmouth Gaseous Diffusion Plant is in the early stages of decommissioning and decontamination. During operations, the site drew a large amount of electric power and had multiple large switchyards on site. These are a source of polychlorinated biphenyls (PCB) contamination to both on-site and off-site streams. Some soil remediation has been completed in the main switchyard. During 2011 and 2012, fifteen sites were sampled at the surface (<10 cm) and subsurface (20–30 cm) to characterize the extent of PCB contamination, to identify weathering and migration of PCB contamination and to explore potential polychlorinated dibenzo-p-dioxins (PCDD) and polychlorinated dibenzofurans (PCDF) contamination due to transformer fires and explosions in the 1950s and 1960s. Stagnant sites tended to exhibit more migration of contamination to deeper sediments than sites with fast-moving waters, and the highest concentrations were found at the bottom of a settling pond. A signature set of five dioxin-like PCBs were consistently found across the site with higher concentrations in carbon rich surface sediments. PCB concentrations had a significant inverse correlation with clay content, suggesting that PCBs did not bind to clays at this site. Remediation has reduced PCB concentrations throughout the site compared to levels found in previous studies and long-term upkeep of sediment lagoons is necessary to retain PCB and dioxin-rich sediments. The flow regimen, organic carbon and clay content play a very important role in the fate of PCBs in the environment at the surface as well as downward migration.
    Chemosphere 11/2014; 114:93–100. DOI:10.1016/j.chemosphere.2014.03.092 · 3.50 Impact Factor
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    • "The site of this study is the Indiana Harbor and Ship Canal (IHSC), a heavily industrial area of southern Lake Michigan contaminated with a variety of pollutants, including heavy metals, polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs) and PCBs. It is reportedly a major source of PCBs to Lake Michigan, with PCB concentrations in IHSC surficial sediments ranging from 53 to 35,000 ng/g dw (Martinez et al., 2010). PCB-contaminated IHSC sediments are currently being dredged and permanently stored in a confined disposal facility (CDF) (USACE, 2013). "
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    ABSTRACT: Polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs) are carcinogenic, persistent, and bioaccumulative contaminants that pose risks to human and environmental health. In this study, we evaluated the PCB biodegradation of sediments from Indiana Harbor and Ship Canal (IHSC), a PCB-contaminated site (average PCB concentration = 12,570 ng/g dw). PCB congener profiles and bacterial community structure in a core sediment sample (4.57 m long) were characterized. Analysis of vertical PCB congener profile patterns in sediment and pore water strongly suggests that in situ dechlorination occurred in sediments. However, 16S rRNA genes from putative PCB-dechlorinating Chloroflexi were relatively more abundant in upper 2 m sediments, as were genes indicative of aerobic biodegradation potential (i.e. biphenyl dioxygenase (bphA)). Characterization of the bacterial community by terminal restriction fragment length polymorphism and comparison of these with sediment and pore water PCB congener profiles with the Mantel test revealed a statistical correlation (p < 0.001). Sequences classified as Acinetobacter and Acidovorax were highly abundant in deep sediments. Overall, our results suggest that PCB dechlorination has already occurred, and that IHSC sediments have the potential for further aerobic and anaerobic PCB biodegradation.
    International Biodeterioration & Biodegradation 04/2014; 89:50–57. DOI:10.1016/j.ibiod.2014.01.005 · 2.24 Impact Factor
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