||Environmental Research Lab.-Duluth, MN. ;Hydroqual, Inc., Mahwah, NJ. ;Manhattan Coll., Bronx, NY. Dept. of Chemistry. ;Science Applications International Corp., Narragansett, RI. ;Delaware Univ., Newark. Dept. of Civil Engineering.
Due to anthropogenic inputs, elevated concentrations of metals frequently occur in aquatic sediments. In order to make defensible estimates of the potential risk of metals in sediments and/or develop sediment quality criteria for metals, it is essential to identify that fraction of the total metal in the sediments that is bioavailable. Studies with a variety of benthic invertebrates indicate that interstitial (pore) water concentrations of metals correspond very well with the bioavailability of metals in test sediments. Many factors may influence pore water concentrations of metals; however, in anaerobic sediments a key phase controlling partitioning of several cationic metals (cadmium, nickel, lead, zinc, copper) into pore water is acid volatile sulfide (AVS). In this paper, the authors present an overview of the technical basis for predicting bioavailability of cationic metals to benthic organisms based on pore water metal concentrations and metal-AVS relationships. (Copyright (c) 1994 Springer-Verlag New York Inc.)