Application of passive sampling for measuring dissolved concentrations of organic contaminants in the water column at 3 marine superfund sites
Currently, there is an effort under way to encourage remedial project managers at contaminated sites to use passive sampling to collect freely dissolved concentrations (Cfree) of hydrophobic organic contaminants to improve site assessments. The objective of the present study was to evaluate the use of passive sampling for measuring water column Cfree for several hydrophobic organic contaminants at 3 US Environmental Protection Agency Superfund sites. Sites investigated included New Bedford Harbor, Palos Verdes Shelf, and Naval Station Newport; and the passive samplers evaluated were polyethylene, polydimethylsiloxane‐coated solid‐phase microextraction fibers, semipermeable membrane devices, and polyoxymethylene. In general, the different passive samplers demonstrated good agreement, with Cfree values varying by a factor of 2 to 3. Further, at New Bedford Harbor, where conventional water sample concentrations were also measured (i.e., grab samples), passive sampler‐based Cfree values agreed within a factor of 2. These findings suggest that all of the samplers were experiencing and measuring similar Cfree during their respective deployments. Also, at New Bedford Harbor, a strong log‐linear, correlative, and predictive relationship was found between polyethylene passive sampler accumulation and lipid‐normalized blue mussel bioaccumulation of polychlorinated biphenyls (r2 = 0.92, p < 0.05). The present study demonstrates the utility of passive sampling for generating scientifically accurate water column Cfree values, which is critical for making informed environmental management decisions at contaminated sediment sites. This article is protected by copyright. All rights reserved
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