Article

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: 4.1). 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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    • "Air streaming can extend PAHs to large distances and subsequently return them to the soil through precipitation. In the soil, we find them bound to bigger particles, from where some evaporate in the air, while others penetrate into deeper layers contaminating underground water (5). The general population is exposed to PAHs from the environment through small-sized respirable particles, water and food, as well as from the occupational environment (6). "
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    • "Most of the contaminants (92% and 96% of PAHs and PCBs, respectively) had reached the equilibrium state after 46 days. Similar uptake curves have been previously reported by various authors (Booij et al., 2003; Allan et al., 2012; Smedes et al., 2013). After 46 days, the highest accumulated amounts of PAHs were found in LDPE membranes exposed to Lens sediment, whereas the lowest were for the Evry sediment. "
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    • "The exchange rate constants for the added PRCs are in agreement with the values of the exchange rate constants observed for the native contaminants . Similar results were obtained by Booij et al. (2003) and Allan et al. (2012) with LDPE strips exposed to harbors contaminated sediment. The slight difference observed for sorption equilibrium between both contaminant families could be explained, for identical logK ow , by higher exchange rate constant values for PCBs (Figure 2). "

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