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Assessing exposure of sediment biota to organic contaminants by thin-film solid phase extraction

Authors

  • Lizanne M. Meloche,

    1. School of Resource and Environmental Management, Simon Fraser University, 8888 University Drive, Burnaby, British Columbia V5A 1S6, Canada
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  • Adrian M. H. deBruyn,

    1. School of Resource and Environmental Management, Simon Fraser University, 8888 University Drive, Burnaby, British Columbia V5A 1S6, Canada
    2. Golder Associates, 195 Pemberton Avenue, North Vancouver, British Columbia V7P 2R4, Canada
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  • S. Victoria Otton,

    1. School of Resource and Environmental Management, Simon Fraser University, 8888 University Drive, Burnaby, British Columbia V5A 1S6, Canada
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  • Michael G. Ikonomou,

    1. Fisheries and Oceans Canada, Contaminants Science Section, Institute of Ocean Sciences, 9860 West Saanich Road, P.O. Box 6000, Sidney, British Columbia V8L 4B2, Canada
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  • Frank A. P. C. Gobas

    Corresponding author
    1. School of Resource and Environmental Management, Simon Fraser University, 8888 University Drive, Burnaby, British Columbia V5A 1S6, Canada
    • School of Resource and Environmental Management, Simon Fraser University, 8888 University Drive, Burnaby, British Columbia V5A 1S6, Canada
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Abstract

Differences in bioavailability among sediments are a source of variability and uncertainty in sediment quality assessment. We present three sets of studies designed to test a thin-film solid phase extraction technique for characterizing the bioavailability of organic chemicals in sediments. Laboratory studies with spiked natural sediments reveal highly reproducible thin-film extractions for chemicals with octanol–water partition coefficients between 104.5 and 108.5, with 95% equilibration times between 1 and 600 h. Studies with field-collected sediments illustrate that method detection limits are sufficiently low for field application at contaminated sites. Bioaccumulation studies with clams (Macoma balthica) show excellent correlations between thin-film and animal tissue concentrations. We conclude that thin-film extraction provides an ecologically relevant, fugacity-based measure of chemical exposure that can be expected to improve sediment quality assessments.

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