Evaluating Ecological Risk to Invertebrate Receptors from PAHs in Sediments at Hazardous Waste Sites (External Review Draft)

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In March 2004, ORD's Ecological Risk Assessment Support Center (ERASC) received a request from the Ecological Risk Assessment Forum (ERAF) relating to the evaluation of ecological risk to vertebrate and benthic invertebrate receptors from polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbon compounds (PAHs) in sediment at hazardous waste sites. The External Review Draft addressing this request provides an overview of an approach for assessing risk to invertebrate receptors resulting from exposure to PAHs in contaminated sediments. [Reaching a consensus scientific position on vertebrate risk issues is a longer-term prospect.]

The approach, based on procedures described in U.S. EPA (2003), involves the use of equilibrium partitioning techniques to determine exposure/bioavailability and narcosis theory to estimate sublethal toxicity of PAHs. Examples of how to use this approach with analytical data resulting from the analysis of contaminated sediments are provided. Additionally, this approach offers risk assessors a useful tool for assessing the risk of PAHs to benthic invertebrates at hazardous waste sites, particularly when used with other contaminated sediment assessment methods.


The document will be revised in accordance with any public comments. The Final document will be posted on the Internet shortly thereafter.


U.S. EPA. Evaluating Ecological Risk to Invertebrate Receptors from PAHs in Sediments at Hazardous Waste Sites (External Review Draft). U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, Washington, DC, EPA/600/R-06/162, 2007.


Jul 2005An internal review draft was completed.
Dec 2006Internal review was completed and comments were addressed to produce an External Review Draft.
Mar 2007An External Review Draft was released for public comments.