EPA Science Inventory

Organic contaminants in Great Lakes tributaries: Identification of watersheds and chemicals of greatest concern

Citation:

Corsi, S., L. De Cicco, A. Baldwin, D. Alvarez, A. Schroeder, D. Villeneuve, B. Blackwell, G. Ankley, AND P. Lenaker. Organic contaminants in Great Lakes tributaries: Identification of watersheds and chemicals of greatest concern. SETAC North America, Salt Lake City, UT, November 01 - 05, 2015.

Description:

Trace organic contaminant concentrations in some Great Lakes tributaries indicate potential for adverse effects on aquatic organisms. Chemicals used in agriculture, industry, and households enter surface waters via variety of sources, including urban and agricultural runoff, sewage systems, and combined sewage overflows. Water samples were collected and passive samplers deployed between 2010 and 2013 at 57 tributaries in the Great Lakes to support the Great Lakes Restoration Initiative. Sites represented a range of land use from forested to agricultural to urban. Water samples were collected over variable hydrologic conditions and analyzed for 69 contaminants; passive samplers were deployed for 30 days and analyzed for 155 contaminants. Classes of analytes included pesticides, polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs), pharmaceuticals, fire retardants, detergent metabolites, plasticizers, personal care products. Concentrations of many contaminants were positively correlated to the amount of urban land use in a watershed. Contaminant concentrations were assessed for potential adverse effects using multiple bioassay endpoint concentrations retrieved from the ToxCastTM (Toxicity Forecaster) database, available water quality guidelines from the U.S. and Canada, and via calculation of 17â-estradiol equivalents. Results of the ToxCastTM analysis were compared to the more traditional approach using water quality guidelines to assess differences and commonalities among these methods. Overall results were used to rank tributaries by their potential impact on aquatic life, with prioritization of the most influential contaminants. Classes of chemicals that showed the greatest potential for adverse effects included PAHs, pharmaceuticals, and pesticides. Each of the 58 tributaries included had at least one chemical that had potential for adverse effects based on these assessments with the magnitude of the effect and responsible compound(s) varying by site and land use attributes.

Purpose/Objective:

not applicable

Record Details:

Record Type: DOCUMENT (PRESENTATION/SLIDE)
Completion Date: 11/05/2015
Record Last Revised: 11/09/2015
Record Created: 11/09/2015
Record Released: 11/09/2015
OMB Category: Other
Record ID: 310158

Organization:

U.S. ENVIRONMENTAL PROTECTION AGENCY

OFFICE OF RESEARCH AND DEVELOPMENT

NATIONAL HEALTH AND ENVIRONMENTAL EFFECTS RESEARCH LAB

MID-CONTINENT ECOLOGY DIVISION