Published: Jan 1988
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A waste characterization test was designed to determine the actual contaminants in dredged materials that are bioavailable. Unlike many smaller freshwater systems, marine habitats are frequently regulated on the basis of waste bioaccumulation potential. This implies that traditional chemical characterization of sediments may provide data that is not appropriate for marine systems. A waste characterization procedure was sought that would determine those contaminants in sediment that could bioaccumulate. A highly contaminated urban harbor sediment from Black Rock Harbor, Bridgeport, CT was chosen as the test material. The marine bivalve, Mytilus edulis, was exposed to suspended dredged material for 28 days in a flow-through exposure system. Exposed organisms were then extracted and analyzed for bioavailable, low-polarity contaminants by gas chromatography/mass spectrometry (GC/MS). All separable GC/MS peaks were tentatively identified. These tentatively identified contaminants were subsequently analyzed in the dredged material and quantified when appropriate standards were available. Compounds identified by this waste characterization procedure are assured of being both present in the dredged material and biologically available.
waste characterization, sediment characterization, bioaccumulation, bioavailability, gas chromatography/mass spectrometry, qualitative analysis, polynuclear aromatic hydrocarbons, polychlorinated biphenyls, Ethylan, gas chromatography, marine, Mytilus edulus, mussels
U.S. Geological Survey, National Water Quality Laboratory, Arvada, CO