Science Inventory

Limitations of Reverse Polyethylene Samplers (RePES) for Evaluating Toxicity of Field Contaminated Sediments

Citation:

PERRON, M., R. M. BURGESS, K. T. HO, M. C. PELLETIER, C. L. Friedman, M. G. CANTWELL, AND J. P. Shine. Limitations of Reverse Polyethylene Samplers (RePES) for Evaluating Toxicity of Field Contaminated Sediments. CHEMOSPHERE. Elsevier Science Ltd, New York, NY, 83(3):247-254, (2011).

Impact/Purpose:

In this study, the use of reverse polyethylene samplers (RePES) with field contaminated sediments was evaluated using aqueous contaminant concentrations and whole sediment toxicity as measures of effectiveness. The RePES was not capable of recreating the pattern of toxicity with the amphipod, Ampelisca abdita, and mysid, Americamysis bahia, observed with intact field sediments. As an alternative, solid phase and aqueous phase studies were performed by equilibrating polyethylene with intact sediments or slurries of intact sediments. Three weeks was found to be an insufficient amount of time for the polyethylene to equilibrate with the sediment. An additional study demonstrated three months was sufficient for lower contaminant concentrations, but might not be an adequate amount of time for more highly contaminated sediments. The aqueous and solid phase transfer approach may be useful if equilibration is sufficiently long, although this length of time may be impractical for use in certain applications, such as toxicity identification evaluations (TIEs).

Description:

Passive samplers are used to measure dissolved nonionic organic contaminants (NOCs) in environmental media. More recently, reverse polyethylene samplers (RePES) have been used with spiked sediments to recreate interstitial water exposure concentrations and observed toxicity. In the present study, RePES were used with field contaminated sediments. The RePES was not capable of recreating the pattern of toxicity with the amphipod and mysid observed with intact field sediments. Decreased survival in the RePES exposures as compared to the whole sediment exposures was most likely caused by an overexposure to NOCs due to a lack of surrogate black carbon in the RePES system. As an alternative, solid phase and aqueous phase studies were performed in which polyethylene was allowed to equilibrate with intact sediments or slurries of intact sediments for three weeks. Three weeks was found to be an insufficient amount of time for the polyethylene to equilibrate with the sediment. An additional study demonstrated three months was sufficient for lower contaminant concentrations, but might not be an adequate amount of time for more highly contaminated sediments. The aqueous and solid phase transfer approach may be useful if equilibration is sufficiently long, although this length of time may be impractical for use in certain applications, such as toxicity identification evaluations (TIEs).

URLs/Downloads:

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Record Details:

Record Type: DOCUMENT (JOURNAL/PEER REVIEWED JOURNAL)
Product Published Date: 04/01/2011
Record Last Revised: 05/10/2011
OMB Category: Other
Record ID: 222288