Jump to main content or area navigation.

Contact Us

Extramural Research

Grantee Research Project Results

Grantee Research Project Results

Understanding Bioavailability of Polychlorinated Biphenyls (PCBs) to Clams From Contaminated and Activated Carbon-Amended Sediments

EPA Grant Number: FP916415
Title: Understanding Bioavailability of Polychlorinated Biphenyls (PCBs) to Clams From Contaminated and Activated Carbon-Amended Sediments
Investigators: McLeod, Pamela B.
Institution: Stanford University
EPA Project Officer: Jones, Brandon
Project Period: January 1, 2004 through December 31, 2006
Project Amount: $111,172
RFA: STAR Graduate Fellowships (2004)
Research Category: Academic Fellowships , Fellowship - Environmental Engineering , Engineering and Environmental Chemistry



The objectives of this research project are to: (1) develop a more robust understanding of the sediment biogeochemical processes that govern the bioavailability of polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs) from contaminated sediments; (2) assess the potential of activated carbon amendment to control PCB bioavailability; and (3) enhance the ability to predict the bioavailability of PCBs from sediments to organisms at the base of the food web. These objectives will be addressed through a combination of laboratory experiments and process modeling.


The work focuses on two species of clams (Macoma balthica; Corbicula fluminea) and PCB-contaminated sediment from three sites—San Francisco Bay, CA; Lake Hartwell, SC; and Grasse River, NY. Bioavailability of PCBs will be assessed in 28-day bioaccumulation studies with treated and untreated sediment. These studies will investigate the efficacy of activated carbon amendment under different carbon size, dose, and mixing conditions. A mass transfer model will be tested for its ability to predict PCB repartitioning and bioavailability reduction in the experimental systems. Finally, physicochemical desorption experiments will be conducted to assess their utility as a proxy for PCB uptake by clams.

Supplemental Keywords:

fellowship, polychlorinated biphenyls, PCBs, contaminated sediments, clams, bioavailability, biogeochemical processes, bioaccumulation, activated carbon, clams, PCB bioavailability, bioaccumulation,, Scientific Discipline, Waste, Water, Contaminated Sediments, Environmental Chemistry, Environmental Monitoring, Ecology and Ecosystems, biogeochemical partitioning, aquatic ecosystem, clams, carbon, food chain, contaminated marine sediment, bioavailability, contaminated sediment, PCB, aquatic sediment

Relevant Websites:

2004 STAR Graduate Fellowship Conference Poster (PDF, 1p., 127KB, about PDF)

Top of Page

The perspectives, information and conclusions conveyed in research project abstracts, progress reports, final reports, journal abstracts and journal publications convey the viewpoints of the principal investigator and may not represent the views and policies of ORD and EPA. Conclusions drawn by the principal investigators have not been reviewed by the Agency.

Jump to main content.