STP976: Toxicity of U.S. Waterway Sediments with Particular Reference to the New York Harbor Area

    Jones, RA
    Associate professor and distinguished professor, New Jersey Institute of Technology, Newark, NJ

    Lee, GF
    Associate professor and distinguished professor, New Jersey Institute of Technology, Newark, NJ

    Pages: 15    Published: Jan 1988


    Abstract

    A study was conducted in the mid- to late-1970s on the toxicity of elutriate test mixtures of water and sediment from U.S. harbors and waterways to grass shrimp or daphnia. While for many waterway sediments, 20 to 30% mortality was found after 96-h exposure, those of the New York harbor area showed somewhat greater toxicity. The specific cause of the mortalities was not investigated at that time. It is known that the sediments contained a wide variety of chemical contaminants which, if available to the organisms, could be toxic to them. More than 30 chemical parameters, including heavy metals and chlorinated hydrocarbon pesticides, were measured in the sediments; of the parameters measured, only ammonia was released in sufficient amounts to potentially cause acute lethality in the test waters associated with the sediments. Recent review of the data showed that there is a relationship between the concentration of ammonia in the sediment/water mixtures (elutriates) and the mortality of grass shrimp in the tests. Furthermore, the concentrations that appeared to cause about 50% mortality of the grass shrimp in the 96-h exposure were about the level of 96-h LC50 to grass shrimp for ammonia.

    Keywords:

    sediment, toxicity, ammonia, dredged sediment


    Paper ID: STP26725S

    Committee/Subcommittee: D19.05

    DOI: 10.1520/STP26725S


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