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Arch Environ Contam Toxicol. 2010 Apr;58(3):676-83. doi: 10.1007/s00244-009-9447-z. Epub 2009 Dec 29.

Comparison of bulk sediment and sediment elutriate toxicity testing methods.

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  • 1The McConnell Group, c/o US Environmental Protection Agency, Office of Research and Development, National Exposure Research Laboratory, 26 W. Martin Luther King Drive, Cincinnati, OH 45268, USA.

Abstract

Numerous methods exist for assessing the potential toxicity of sediments in aquatic systems. In this study, the results from 10-day bulk sediment toxicity test methods using Hyalella azteca and Chironomus tentans were compared to results from 96-h Pimephales promelas and Ceriodaphnia dubia renewed acute toxicity tests conducted using elutriate samples prepared from the same sediments. The goal of the study was to determine if the results from the elutriate tests were comparable to those obtained from the bulk sediment tests. Of the 25 samples analyzed, 16 were found to be toxic to at least one of the species tested, in either elutriate or bulk sediment tests. The C. tentans 10-day bulk sediment test was the most sensitive, with 12 sediment samples exhibiting toxicity to this species, whereas the H. azteca bulk sediment test and C. dubia 96-h elutriate test were the least sensitive, exhibiting toxicity in only 7 of the 25 sediments tested. The P. promelas elutriate test found 8 of the 25 sediments to be toxic. Based on the total number of sites found to show toxicity, results from testing indicate 96-h elutriate tests show a level of sensitivity comparable to 10-day bulk sediment tests in assessing toxicity quantitatively. However, the methods did not always find toxicity at the same sites, suggesting that the ability of elutriate tests to predict toxicity (quantitatively) is not statistically correlated with bulk sediment methods. This would indicate that a suite of toxicity test methods would provide the most complete measure of site condition; however, in circumstances where bulk sediment testing is not feasible, elutriate tests can provide a practical and credible alternative for toxicity assessment.

PMID:
20039168
[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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