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Chemosphere. 2006 Aug;64(8):1412-20. Epub 2006 Jan 24.

Predicting low biota to sediment accumulation factors of PAHs by using infinite-sink and equilibrium extraction methods as well as BC-inclusive modeling.

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  • 1Department of Environmental Engineering, Norwegian Geotechnical Institute, NGI, P.O. Box 3930 Ullevål Stadion, N-0806 Oslo, Norway.


Sequestration of polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs) results in the slow release of PAHs from sediment to the aqueous environment, thus limiting bioavailability. Three methods to account for the limited bioavailability of native PAHs to the gastropod Hinia reticulata were therefore investigated: (i) infinite-sink extractions that measure desorption; (ii) equilibrium extractions that measure freely dissolved pore water concentrations and (iii) black carbon-inclusive modeling. The rapidly desorbing fraction was estimated based on the amount desorbed by Tenax. Relatively small amounts of PAHs (<9%) were present in F(rapid) and the observed solid-water distribution ratios (K(d,obs)) were approximately 1-2 orders of magnitude higher than literature K(oc) values. Biota to sediment accumulation factors (BSAFs) measured in the gastropod H. reticulata ranged from 0.02 to 0.07, 10-140 times lower than the theoretical value of approximately 1-2. The BSAFs calculated using the rapidly desorbing fraction or freely dissolved aqueous concentrations were also much lower than the theoretical value, and median values differed from the measured BSAFs by only a factor of 1.5-9. Furthermore, the result of using a BC-inclusive BSAF model could explain the deviation from the theoretical BSAF value and account for the low bioavailability of these native PAHs to H. reticulata. Risk assessment strategies of in situ contamination should therefore include a combination of chemical methods accounting for bioavailability, as well as bioaccumulation studies.

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