EPA Science Inventory

Distribution, Magnitude and Characterization of the Toxicity of Ukrainian Estuarine Sediments

Citation:

BURGESS, R. M., I. M. KONOVETS, L. S. KIPNIS, A. V. LYASHENKO, V. A. GRINTSOV, A. N. PETROV, A. V. TERLETSKAYA, M. V. MILYUKIN, M. I. POVOLOTSKII, V. Y. DEMCHENKO, T. A. BOGOSLOVSKAYA, Y. V. TOPKIN, T. V. VOROBYOVA, L. M. PORTIS, AND K. T. HO. Distribution, Magnitude and Characterization of the Toxicity of Ukrainian Estuarine Sediments. MARINE POLLUTION BULLETIN. Elsevier Science Ltd, New York, NY, 62(11):2442-2462, (2011).

Description:

During the Soviet era, Ukraine, then called the Ukrainian Soviet Socialist Republic, was one of the largest and most important industrial and agricultural regions of the Soviet Union. This industrial and agricultural activity resulted in the contamination of Ukraine’s environment with a range of legacy anthropogenic pollutants including polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs), polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs) and dichlorodiphenyltrichloroethanes (DDTs), and metals such as mercury. Several studies have documented this contamination also spread into the estuarine sediments of Ukraine. However, investigations on the toxicological effects of this contamination have been limited. For this research, we measured the toxicity of contaminated sediments from four Ukrainian estuaries, including the Dnieper and Boh estuaries, Danube Delta, Sevastopol Bay and Balaklava Bay, to several aquatic organisms over three years of sediment collections. Sediment chemical analyses and whole sediment toxicity identification evaluations (TIEs) were also performed to determine the classes of contaminants causing observed toxicity. Toxic sediments were observed in several of the investigated Ukrainian estuaries. Significant midge toxicity in the Dnieper and Boh estuaries and Danube Delta ranged from 13% to 73% survival and 40% to 73% survival, respectively, for the three years tested. Toxicity was observed in 14% to 44% of sediments tested from the Dnieper and Boh estuaries and 21% to 43% of the Danube Delta sediments. A daphnid tested with the same Dnieper and Boh estuaries and Danube Delta sediments demonstrated a similar response but was less sensitive overall. Although several sediments in Sevastopol Bay appeared to demonstrate substantial toxicity to an amphipod with survival ranging from 12% to 97%, 38% to 88%, and 50% to 95%, in 2006, 2007 and 2008, respectively, only one station was statistically significantly toxic (i.e., 12% survival). Balaklava Bay sediments were not very toxic with survival ranging from 73% to 98%. Chemical analyses of the sediments demonstrated anthropogenic contaminants were widely distributed in the Ukrainian estuaries. Further, stations near the city of Cherson on the Dnieper estuary and the central and southern arm sections of Sevastopol Bay were consistently hot spots for total PCBs, total DDTs and total metals. In the limited number of macrobenthic organisms collected during the three year study, a wide range of contaminants were detected indicating their bioavailability from the sediments. Several lines of evidence, including sediment quality guidelines and TIEs, indicated hydrophobic organic chemicals (HOCs) including total DDTs were a primary contributor to observed toxicity. This investigation assessed the magnitude and distribution of toxic estuarine sediments in Ukraine and characterized the contaminants contributing to observed adverse effects. This type of information can guide environmental managers to prioritize which portions of estuaries require remediation.

Purpose/Objective:

For this research, we measured the toxicity of contaminated sediments from four Ukrainian estuaries, including the Dnieper and Boh estuaries, Danube Delta, Sevastopol Bay and Balaklava Bay, to several aquatic organisms over three years of sediment collections. Sediment chemical analyses and whole sediment toxicity identification evaluations (TIEs) were also performed to determine the classes of contaminants causing observed toxicity. Several lines of evidence, including sediment quality guidelines and TIEs, indicated hydrophobic organic contaminants (HOCs) including total DDTs were a primary contributor to observed toxicity. This investigation assessed the magnitude and distribution of toxic estuarine sediments in Ukraine and characterized the contaminants contributing to observed adverse effects. This type of information can guide environmental managers to prioritize which portions of estuaries require remediation.

URLs/Downloads:

aedlibrary@epa.gov

Record Details:

Record Type: DOCUMENT (JOURNAL/PEER REVIEWED JOURNAL)
Start Date: 11/01/2012
Completion Date: 11/01/2012
Record Last Revised: 10/31/2011
Record Created: 08/01/2011
Record Released: 08/01/2011
OMB Category: Other
Record ID: 237255

Organization:

U.S. ENVIRONMENTAL PROTECTION AGENCY

OFFICE OF RESEARCH AND DEVELOPMENT

NATIONAL HEALTH AND ENVIRONMENTAL EFFECTS RESEARCH LAB

ATLANTIC ECOLOGY DIVISION

POPULATION ECOLOGY BRANCH