Passive sampling methods for contaminated sediments: State of the science for metals

Authors

  • Willie JGM Peijnenburg,

    Corresponding author
    1. Institute of Environmental Sciences (CML), University of Leiden, Leiden, The Netherlands
    2. National Institute for Public Health and the Environment, Center for Safety of Substances and Products, Bilthoven, The Netherlands
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  • Peter R Teasdale,

    1. Environmental Futures Research Institute, School of Environment, Griffith University, Gold Coast Campus, Southport, Australia
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  • Danny Reible,

    1. Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering, Texas Tech University, Lubbock, Texas, USA
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  • Julie Mondon,

    1. Center for Integrated Ecology, Environmental Sustainability Research Cluster, Deakin University, Warrnambool Campus, Warrnambool, Victoria, Australia
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  • William W Bennett,

    1. Environmental Futures Research Institute, School of Environment, Griffith University, Gold Coast Campus, Southport, Australia
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  • Peter GC Campbell

    1. Université du Québec, Institut National de la Recherche Scientifique, Centre Eau, Terre et Environnement, Québec, Canada
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  • This paper represents 1 of 6 papers in the special series “Passive Sampling Methods for Contaminated Sediments,” which was generated from the SETAC Technical Workshop “Guidance on Passive Sampling Methods to Improve Management of Contaminated Sediments,” held November 2012 in Costa Mesa, California, USA. Recent advances in passive sampling methods (PSMs) offer an improvement in risk-based decision making, since bioavailability of sediment contaminants can be directly quantified. Forty-five experts, representing PSM developers, users, and decision makers from academia, government, and industry, convened to review the state of science to gain consensus on PSM applications in assessing and supporting management actions on contaminated sediments.

ABSTRACT

“Dissolved” concentrations of contaminants in sediment porewater (Cfree) provide a more relevant exposure metric for risk assessment than do total concentrations. Passive sampling methods (PSMs) for estimating Cfree offer the potential for cost-efficient and accurate in situ characterization of Cfree for inorganic sediment contaminants. In contrast to the PSMs validated and applied for organic contaminants, the various passive sampling devices developed for metals, metalloids, and some nonmetals (collectively termed “metals”) have been exploited to a limited extent, despite recognized advantages that include low detection limits, detection of time-averaged trends, high spatial resolution, information about dissolved metal speciation, and the ability to capture episodic events and cyclic changes that may be missed by occasional grab sampling. We summarize the PSM approaches for assessing metal toxicity to, and bioaccumulation by, sediment-dwelling biota, including the recognized advantages and limitations of each approach, the need for standardization, and further work needed to facilitate broader acceptance and application of PSM-derived information by decision makers. Integr Environ Assess Manag 2014;10:179–196. © 2014 The Authors. Integrated Environmental Assessment and Management published by Wiley Periodicals, Inc. on behalf of SETAC.

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