EDITOR'S NOTE: 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.
Special Series: Passive Sampling Methods for Contaminated Sediments
Passive sampling methods for contaminated sediments: Scientific rationale supporting use of freely dissolved concentrations
Article first published online: 18 FEB 2014
© 2014 The Authors. Integrated Environmental Assessment and Management published by Wiley Periodicals, Inc. on behalf of SETAC.
This is an open access article under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 License, which permits use, distribution and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited and is not used for commercial purposes.
Integrated Environmental Assessment and Management
Volume 10, Issue 2, pages 197–209, April 2014
How to Cite
Mayer, P., Parkerton, T. F., Adams, R. G., Cargill, J. G., Gan, J., Gouin, T., Gschwend, P. M., Hawthorne, S. B., Helm, P., Witt, G., You, J. and Escher, B. I. (2014), Passive sampling methods for contaminated sediments: Scientific rationale supporting use of freely dissolved concentrations. Integr Environ Assess Manag, 10: 197–209. doi: 10.1002/ieam.1508
- Issue published online: 24 MAR 2014
- Article first published online: 18 FEB 2014
- Accepted manuscript online: 29 NOV 2013 04:35AM EST
- Manuscript Accepted: 26 NOV 2013
- Manuscript Revised: 16 SEP 2013
- Manuscript Received: 13 JUN 2013
- Chemical activity;
- Passive sampling;
- Risk assessment
Passive sampling methods (PSMs) allow the quantification of the freely dissolved concentration (Cfree) of an organic contaminant even in complex matrices such as sediments. Cfree is directly related to a contaminant's chemical activity, which drives spontaneous processes including diffusive uptake into benthic organisms and exchange with the overlying water column. Consequently, Cfree provides a more relevant dose metric than total sediment concentration. Recent developments in PSMs have significantly improved our ability to reliably measure even very low levels of Cfree. Application of PSMs in sediments is preferably conducted in the equilibrium regime, where freely dissolved concentrations in the sediment are well-linked to the measured concentration in the sampler via analyte-specific partition ratios. The equilibrium condition can then be assured by measuring a time series or a single time point using passive samplers with different surface to volume ratios. Sampling in the kinetic regime is also possible and generally involves the application of performance reference compounds for the calibration. Based on previous research on hydrophobic organic contaminants, it is concluded that Cfree allows a direct assessment of 1) contaminant exchange and equilibrium status between sediment and overlying water, 2) benthic bioaccumulation, and 3) potential toxicity to benthic organisms. Thus, the use of PSMs to measure Cfree provides an improved basis for the mechanistic understanding of fate and transport processes in sediments and has the potential to significantly improve risk assessment and management of contaminated sediments. Integr Environ Assess Manag 2014;10:197–209. © 2014 The Authors. Integrated Environmental Assessment and Management published by Wiley Periodicals, Inc. on behalf of SETAC.