Record of PCB congeners, sorbents and potential toxicity in core samples in Indiana Harbor and Ship Canal

Department of Civil & Environmental Engineering, IIHR-Hydroscience and Engineering, The University of Iowa, Iowa City, IA 52242, USA.
Chemosphere (Impact Factor: 3.34). 09/2011; 85(3):542-7. DOI: 10.1016/j.chemosphere.2011.08.018
Source: PubMed

ABSTRACT Indiana Harbor and Ship Canal (IHSC) is an active navigational system that serves a heavily industrial area of southern Lake Michigan. We have determined the amount of polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs), congener distributions, sorbent types and potential for dioxin-like PCB toxicity from two IHSC sediment cores. Vertical distributions of ΣPCBs (sum of 161 individual or coeluting congeners) ranged from 410 to 91000 and 1800 to 41000 ng g(-1) dry weight (d.w.) for cores 1 and 2, respectively. Core 1 showed its highest accumulation rate for the year ∼1979 and exhibits a strong Aroclor 1248 signal in sediments accumulating over the last 60 years. It appears that from the late 1930s until the beginning of the 1980s there was a large and constant input of PCBs into this system. This pattern differs from lake cores from the Great Lakes region which commonly exhibit a rapid increase, a peak, followed by a sharp decrease in the PCB accumulation rates. Core 2 also has a strong Aroclor 1248 signal in the top layers, but deeper layers show evidence of mixtures of Aroclors and/or weathering processes. High levels of black carbon as a fraction of total organic carbon were found in both cores (median ∼30%), which reflect the long history of local combustion sources. No strong relationship was found between ΣPCB concentration and sorbents. Both cores contain dioxin-like PCBs that are highest in concentration below the surface. The high levels of PCBs in the deep sediments are of concern because of plans to dredge this system.

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Available from: Keri C Hornbuckle, Sep 25, 2015
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    • "The soil was spiked with a mixture of PCB 52, PCB 77 and PCB 153 (99% pure) (Accustandard Inc., New Haven, CT) at the concentration of 500 ng/g each. This level of PCB contamination has been reported in soils and sediments previously (Martinez and Hornbuckle, 2011; Van Metre and Mahler, 2005). In this study we investigated the possibility of using switchgrass to clean up PCB contamination that is below the dredging requirement (50 ppm) but still poses a potential risk to human and environmental health. "
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    ABSTRACT: Phytoremediation makes use of plants and associated microorganisms to clean up soils and sediments contaminated with inorganic and organic pollutants. In this study, switchgrass (Panicum virgatum) was used to test for its efficiency in improving the removal of three specific polychlorinated biphenyl (PCB) congeners (PCB 52, 77 and 153) in soil microcosms. The congeners were chosen for their ubiquity, toxicity, and recalcitrance. After 24 weeks of incubation, loss of 39.9 ± 0.41% of total PCB molar mass was observed in switchgrass-treated soil, significantly higher than in unplanted soil (29.5 ± 3.4%) (p < 0.05). The improved PCB removal in switchgrass-treated soils could be explained by phytoextraction processes and enhanced microbial activity in the rhizosphere. Bioaugmentation with Burkholderia xenovorans LB400 was performed to further enhance aerobic PCB degradation. The presence of LB400 was associated with improved degradation of PCB 52, but not PCB 77 or PCB 153. Increased abundances of bphA (a functional gene that codes for a subunit of PCB-degrading biphenyl dioxygenase in bacteria) and its transcript were observed after bioaugmentation. The highest total PCB removal was observed in switchgrass-treated soil with LB400 bioaugmentation (47.3 ± 1.22%), and the presence of switchgrass facilitated LB400 survival in the soil. Overall, our results suggest that the combined use of phytoremediation and bioaugmentation could be an efficient and sustainable strategy to eliminate recalcitrant PCB congeners and remediate PCB contaminated soil.
    Ecological Engineering 10/2014; 71:215–222. DOI:10.1016/j.ecoleng.2014.07.046 · 2.58 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: East Chicago, Indiana is a heavily-industrialized community bisected by the Indiana Harbor and Ship Canal, which volatilizes ~7.5 kg/yr polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs). In contrast, the rural Columbus Junction, Iowa area has no known current or past PCB industrial sources. Blood from children and their mothers from these communities were collected April 2008-January 2009 (n=177). Sera were analyzed for all 209 PCBs and 4 hydroxylated PCBs (OH-PCBs). Sum PCBs ranged from non-detect to 658 ng/g lw (median = 33.5 ng/g lw). Sum OH-PCBs ranged from non-detect to 1.2 ng/g fw (median = 0.07 ng/g fw). These concentrations are similar to those reported in other populations without high dietary PCB intake. Differences between the two communities were subtle. PCBs were detected in more East Chicago mothers and children than Columbus Junction mothers and children, and children from East Chicago were enriched in lower-molecular weight PCBs. East Chicago and Columbus Junction residents had similar levels of total and individual PCBs and OH-PCBs in their blood. Concentrations of parent PCBs correlated with concentrations of OH-PCBs. This is the first temporally- and methodologically-consistent study to evaluate all 209 PCBs and major metabolites in two generations of people living in urban and rural areas of the United States.
    Environmental Science & Technology 03/2013; 47(16). DOI:10.1021/es304455k · 5.33 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: More than 2300 sediment pore water distribution coefficients (KPCBi ds) of 93 polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs) were measured and modeled from sediments from Indiana Harbor and Ship Canal. KPCBi ds were calculated from previously reported bulk sediment values and newly analyzed pore water. PCBs in pore waters were measured using SPME PDMS-fiber and ∑PCB ranged from 41 to 1500 ng L(-1). The resulting KPCBi ds were ∼1 log unit lower in comparison to other reported values. A simple model for the KPCBi d consisted of the product of the organic carbon fraction and the octanol-water partition coefficient and provided an excellent prediction for the measured values, with a mean square error of 0.09 ± 0.06. Although black carbon content is very high in these sediments and was expected to play an important role in the distribution of PCBs, no improvement was obtained when a two-carbon model was used.
    Environmental Pollution 08/2013; 182C:357-363. DOI:10.1016/j.envpol.2013.07.015 · 4.14 Impact Factor
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