Send to

Choose Destination
See comment in PubMed Commons below
Environ Sci Technol. 2005 Apr 15;39(8):2880-7.

Addition of activated carbon to sediments to reduce PCB bioaccumulation by a polychaete (Neanthes arenaceodentata) and an amphipod (Leptocheirus plumulosus).

Author information

Analytical Services Inc, Engineering Research and Development Center, Vicksburg, Mississippi 39180, USA.


This work examines the effects of adding coke or activated carbon on the bioavailability of polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs) in contaminated sedimentfrom South Basin at Hunters Point, San Francisco Bay. We show with 28-day sediment exposure tests that PCB bioaccumulation in a polychaete (Neanthes arenaceodentata) is reduced by 82% following 1-month contact of sediment with activated carbon and by 87% following 6-months contact of sediment with activated carbon. PCB bioaccumulation in an amphipod (Leptocheirus plumulosus) is reduced by 70% following 1-month contact of sediment with activated carbon and by 75% after 6-months contact of sediment with activated carbon. Adding coke had a negligible effect on reducing PCB bioaccumulation, probably because of the low specific surface area and the slow kinetics of PCB diffusion intothe solid coke particles. Reductions in congener bioaccumulation with activated carbon were inversely related to congener Kow, suggesting that the efficacy of activated carbon is controlled by the mass-transfer rate of PCBs from sediment and into activated carbon. We find that reductions in aqueous PCB concentrations in equilibrium with the sediment were similar to reductions in PCB bioaccumulation. While no lethality was observed following activated carbon addition, growth rates were reduced by activated carbon for the polychaete, but not for the amphipod, suggesting the need for further study of the potential impacts of activated carbon on exposed communities. The study suggests that treatment of the biologically active layer of contaminated sediments with activated carbon may be a promising in-situ technique for reducing the bioavailability of sediment-associated PCBs and other hydrophobic organic compounds.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]
PubMed Commons home

PubMed Commons

How to join PubMed Commons

    Supplemental Content

    Loading ...
    Support Center