Comparing Polychaete and Polyethylene Uptake to Assess Sediment Resuspension Effects on PCB Bioavailability

U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, ORD/NHEERL, Atlantic Ecology Division, Narragansett, Rhode Island 02882, USA.
Environmental Science and Technology (Impact Factor: 5.33). 05/2009; 43(8):2865-70. DOI: 10.1021/es803695n
Source: PubMed


Polyethylene sampler uptake was compared to polychaete uptake to assess bioavailability of polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs) from resuspended sediments. New Bedford Harbor (MA, U.S.) sediment contaminated with PCBs, was resuspended under four different water column oxidation conditions: resuspension alone, resuspension under aeration, resuspension under helium, and no resuspension (control). Residuals were tested for differences in PCB availability to the marine polychaete Nereis virens and to polyethylene (PE) passive samplers. Few significant differences between the four resuspension treatments were observed: under aeration, three of 23 PCBs analyzed showed significant increases in polychaete accumulation, while resuspension alone showed increased concentrations in PE samplers for nine of 23 PCBs. Otherwise, no differences were observed and overall we concluded that resuspension had no effect on residual PCB availability. The relationship between disequilibrium-corrected PE and lipid-normalized polychaete PCB concentrations was nearly 1:1 with a strong linear correlation (r2 = 0.877), demonstrating PCBs are taken up similarly into PE and lipid. On average, PE samplers suggested dissolved PCB concentrations 3.6 times greater than those calculated with lipid-water partitioning, though on a congener-specific basis this was only observed for lower chlorinated PCBs; for higher chlorinated PCBs, PE-water partitioning suggested lower dissolved concentrations than those based on lipid. Organic carbon (OC)-water and OC and black carbon combined (OC+BC)-water partitioning suggested average dissolved concentrations 29 and 10 times greater, respectively, than those estimated with lipid-water partitioning. This demonstrates that PE-measured porewater concentrations can provide a more reliable estimate of bioavailability than sediment geochemistry.

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Available from: Carey L Friedman, Dec 10, 2015
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    • "Sediments can trap a significant amount of hydrophobic pollutants in comparison with the water compartment where hydrophobic chemicals show only a limited solubility (Karacık et al. 2013). Sediments play a significant role in the fate of pollutants in the aquatic system as events such as bioturbation, bio-irrigation, tidal currents, trawling, and dredging operations can stimulate the transfer of chemicals between the sediment beds and the water column compartments (Adams 2003; Friedman et al. 2009; Roberts 2012; Bradshaw et al. 2012). In this context, it appears crucial to apply PS in the water column while considering sediment beds. "
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    ABSTRACT: Resuspension of bedded sediments was simulated under laboratory-controlled conditions in order to assess the amount of polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAH) remobilized in the dissolved fraction during one short and vigorous mixing. The desorbed amount of PAH was compared to the exchangeable fraction, the total amount of PAH sorbed on the sediment particles, and the dissolved PAH amount contained in the interstitial pore waters in order to evaluate the contribution of each fraction to the total amount of PAH released. To monitor the desorption of PAH and measure low trace level concentrations, passive samplers were used in an experimental open flow through exposure simulator. Results show that for the selected sediment, a substantial fraction of sorbed PAH (69 % of the total amount) is not available for remobilization in a depleted medium. Obtained data pinpoint that over 9 days, only 0.007 % of PAH are desorbed by passive diffusion through a water-sediment interface area of 415 cm(2) and that an intense resuspension event of 15 min induces desorption of 0.015 % of PAH during the following 9 days. Results also highlight that during resuspension simulation, modifications of the sediment and the water body occurred since partitioning constants of some pollutants between sediment and water have significantly decreased.
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    • "bioaccumulation assessments (Vinturella et al. 2004; Friedman et al. 2009; Fagervold et al. 2010; Gschwend et al. 2011). "
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    • "Whether dredging residuals have greater bioavailability than native sediments has been researched to a limited extent. Friedman et al. (2009) showed in laboratory studies using New Bedford Harbor sediments that generated residuals (sediments that were resuspended and allowed to redeposit) generally did not have increased contaminant bioavailability of PCBs compared with control sediments. "
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    ABSTRACT: Timely and effective remediation of contaminated sediments is essential for protecting human health and the environment and restoring beneficial uses to waterways. A number of site operational conditions influence the effect of environmental dredging of contaminated sediment on aquatic systems. Site experience shows that resuspension of contaminated sediment and release of contaminants occur during dredging and that contaminated sediment residuals will remain after operations. It is also understood that these processes affect the magnitude, distribution, and bioavailability of the contaminants, and hence the exposure and risk to receptors of concern. However, even after decades of sediment remediation project experience, substantial uncertainties still exist in our understanding of the cause-effect relationships relating dredging processes to risk. During the past few years, contaminated sediment site managers, researchers, and practitioners have recognized the need to better define and understand dredging-related processes. In this article, we present information and research needs on these processes as synthesized from recent symposia, reports, and remediation efforts. Although predictions about the effect of environmental dredging continue to improve, a clear need remains to better understand the effect that sediment remediation processes have on contaminant exposures and receptors of concern. Collecting, learning from, and incorporating new information into practice is the only avenue to improving the effectiveness of remedial operations.
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