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Hazard identification of contaminated sites-ranking potential toxicity of organic sediment extracts in crustacean and fish
Stockholm University, Faculty of Science, Department of Applied Environmental Science (ITM).
Stockholm University, Faculty of Science, Department of Applied Environmental Science (ITM).
Stockholm University, Faculty of Science, Department of Applied Environmental Science (ITM).
Stockholm University, Faculty of Science, Department of Applied Environmental Science (ITM).
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2008 (English)In: Journal of Soils and Sediments, ISSN 1439-0108, E-ISSN 1614-7480, Vol. 8, no 4, 263-274 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

Background, aim, and scope It is well known that contaminated sediments represent a potential long-term source of pollutants to the aquatic environment. To protect human and ecosystem health, it is becoming common to remediate contaminated sites. However, the great cost associated with,e.g., dredging in combination with the large numbers of contaminated sites makes it crucial to pinpoint those sites that are in greatest need of remediation. In most European countries, this prioritization process has almost exclusively been based on chemical analyses of known substances; only seldom toxicity data has been considered. The main objective of the current study was therefore to develop a tool for hazard identification of sediment by ranking potential toxicity of organic sediment extracts in a crustacean and a fish. A secondary objective was to investigate the difference in potential toxicity between compoundswith different polarities.

Materials and methods Early life stages of the crustacean Nitocra spinipes and the fish Oncorhynchus mykiss, which represent organisms from different trophic levels (primary and secondary consumer) and with different routes of exposure(i.e., ingestion through food, diffusive uptake, and maternal transfer), were exposed to hexane and acetone fractions(semi-polar compounds) of sediment from five locations,ranging from heavily to low contaminated. Preliminary tests showed that the extracts were non-bioavailable to the crustacean when exposed via water, and the extracts were therefore loaded on silica gel. Rainbow trout embryos were exposed using nano-injection technique.

Results and discussion Clear concentration–response relationships of both mortality and larval development were observed in all tests with N. spinipes. Also for rainbow trout,the observed effects (e.g., abnormality, hemorrhage, asymmetric yolk sac) followed a dose-related pattern. Interestingly, our results indicate that some of the locations contained toxic semi-polar compounds, which are normally not considered in risk assessment of sediment since they are focused on compounds isolated in the hexane fraction.

Conclusions The ranking of the five sediments followed the expected pattern of potential toxicity in both organisms, i.e.,sediments with known pollution history caused major effects while reference sediments caused minor effects in the two test systems. Silica gel turned out to be an excellent carrier for exposure of N. spinipes to very hydrophobic and otherwise non-bioavailable sediment extracts.

Recommendations and perspectives Since both test systems demonstrated that a substantial part of the potential toxicity was caused by semi-polar compounds in the acetone fractions,this study enlightens our poor understanding of which compounds are causing adverse effects in environmental samples. Therefore, by investigating potential toxicity (i.e., hazard identification) as a first screening step in prioritizing processes,these implications could be avoided. For proper sediment risk assessment, we however recommend whole sediment toxicity tests to be used for selected sites at following tiers.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2008. Vol. 8, no 4, 263-274 p.
Keyword [en]
Crustacea, Fish, PAH, PCB, PCDD/Fs, Sediment extract, Sediment toxicity, Semi-polar, Sublethal
URN: urn:nbn:se:su:diva-29621DOI: 10.1007/s11368-008-0015-3ISI: 000259233100008OAI: diva2:234492
Available from: 2009-09-08 Created: 2009-09-08 Last updated: 2011-03-17Bibliographically approved
In thesis
1. Hazard Identification of Anti-fouling Paints and Contaminated Sediments by the Use of Biological Tests in Brackish Water
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Hazard Identification of Anti-fouling Paints and Contaminated Sediments by the Use of Biological Tests in Brackish Water
2009 (English)Doctoral thesis, comprehensive summary (Other academic)
Abstract [en]

Ecotoxicological test methods are important tools in environmental risk assessment to investigate possible adverse effects that chemical substances may cause to aquatic ecosystems. The main aim of this doctoral thesis was to identify potential toxicity (hazard) of anti-fouling compounds and paints as well as contaminated sediments. Mainly tests with the red macroalga Ceramium tenuicorne and the harpacticoid copepod Nitocra spinipes were used. Toxicity of anti-fouling paints with a physical (biocide-free) or a chemical mode of action for use on pleasure boats and ships was investigated (Paper I and III). Several of the biocide-free paints were found to be toxic and some were even more toxic than paints based on leaching of biocides (Paper I and III). In paper II, release rates of Cu and Zn from both pleasure boat and ship paints were assessed and showed that the biocide-free paints release large amounts of Zn. The influence of salinity and organic matter on Cu toxicity to C. tenuicorne was investigated under brackish water conditions. Organic matter had a clear reducing effect on Cu toxicity while the effect of salinity had a minor impact on the toxicity (Paper IV). The potential toxicity of sediments was investigated by developing an ecotoxicological approach for screening of contaminated sites (Paper V). The results showed that sediments with known historical pollution were most toxic while reference sediments were least toxic. Also, the observed toxicity of some of the sediments could not be explained by the analyzed substances. In conclusion, the studies of anti-fouling paints have shown that the biocide-free paints can be very toxic and that the great release of Zn from biocide-free paints could have implications for the coastal ecosystem. Organic matter had a greater impact on Cu toxicity than salinity. The study with sediments provided a promising screening tool for use in prioritizing processes of contaminated sites. Finally, the importance of combining biological testing and chemical analysis was highlighted.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Stockholm: Department of Applied Environmental Science (ITM), Stockholm Univeristy, 2009. 39 p.
Anti-fouling paints; Toxicity tests; Hazard identification; Sediment toxicity; Ceramium tenuicorne; Nitocra spinipes
National Category
Other Environmental Engineering
Research subject
Applied Environmental Science
urn:nbn:se:su:diva-29610 (URN)978-91-7155-930-2 (ISBN)
Public defence
2009-10-16, William-Olssonsalen, Geovetenskapens hus, Svante Arrhenius väg 14, Stockholm, 10:00 (Swedish)
At the time of the doctoral defense, the following papers were unpublished and had a status as follows:Paper 2: submitted; Paper 3: submitted; Paper 4: manuscriptAvailable from: 2009-09-25 Created: 2009-09-08 Last updated: 2011-09-08

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Karlsson, JennyÅkerman, GunGrunder, KerstinEklund, BrittaBreitholtz, Magnus
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