John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.

Predicting bioaccumulation of polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons in soft‐shelled clams (Mya arenaria) using field deployments of polyethylene passive samplers

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Biota‐sediment accumulation factors (BSAF), frequently used to predict tissue concentrations of organisms living within and above sediments contaminated with hydrophobic organic chemicals (HOCs), often produce inaccurate estimates. Hence, freely‐dissolved porewater concentrations, CW, have also been investigated as predictors of organism tissue concentrations, but they are more difficult to measure than bulk sediment concentrations (used with BSAF). In situ passive sampling methods make it possible to deduce CW with less effort than is required to measure the value directly, and make it possible to relate CW with tissue concentrations of undisturbed, native organisms. In the present work, polyethylene (PE) passive samplers, containing performance reference compounds (PRCs) (d10‐phenanthrene, d10‐pyrene, and d12‐chrysene), were deployed in diverse sediment beds near Boston, MA for a one‐week period. Clams (Mya arenaria) and sediments were then collected from the same sediments. Concentrations of three PAHs (phenanthrene, pyrene, and chrysene) were measured in the pore waters, in clam tissues, and in the bulk sediment. BSAF and PE‐deduced CW were used to predict organism tissue concentrations. Ratios of predicted‐to‐measured values showed that the BSAF method over‐predicted tissue concentrations in M. arenaria by up to two orders of magnitude. The PE‐deduced CW method resulted in average ratios closer to 1 (0.43 ± 0.26, 3.7 ± 2.5, and 1.1 ± 1.2 for phenanthrene, pyrene, and chrysene, respectively, N=26, uncertainty = ±1σ). This article is protected by copyright. All rights reserved

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