Biological uptake of polychlorinated biphenyls by Macoma balthica from sediment amended with activated carbon
This work characterizes the efficacy of activated carbon amendment in reducing polychlorinated biphenyl (PCB) bioavailability to clams (Macoma balthica) from field-contaminated sediment (Hunters Point Naval Shipyard, San Francisco Bay, CA, USA). Test methods were developed for the use of clams to investigate the effects of sediment amendment on biological uptake. Sediment was mixed with activated carbon for one month. Bioaccumulation tests (28 d) were employed to assess the relationships between carbon dose and carbon particle size on observed reductions in clam biological uptake of PCBs. Extraction and cleanup protocols were developed for the clam tissue. Efficacy of activated carbon treatment was found to increase with both increasing carbon dose and decreasing carbon particle size. Average reductions in bioaccumulation of 22, 64, and 84% relative to untreated Hunters Point sediment were observed for carbon amendments of 0.34, 1.7, and 3.4%, respectively. Average bioaccumulation reductions of 41, 73, and 89% were observed for amendments (dose = 1.7% dry wt) with carbon particles of 180 to 250, 75 to 180, and 25 to 75 microm, respectively, in diameter, indicating kinetic phenomena in these tests. Additionally, a biodynamic model quantifying clam PCB uptake from water and sediment as well as loss through elimination provided a good fit of experimental data. Model predictions suggest that the sediment ingestion route contributed 80 to 95% of the PCB burdens in the clams.
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