John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.

Proof of concept for the use of macroinvertebrates as indicators of PCB contamination in Lake Hartwell

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The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) develops methods and tools for evaluating risk management strategies for sediments contaminated with polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs), polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs), and other legacy pollutants. Monitored natural recovery (MNR) is a risk management alternative that relies on existing physical, chemical, and biological processes to contain, destroy, and/or reduce the bioavailability or toxicity of in‐place contaminants. These naturally occurring processes are monitored to ensure management and recovery is progressing as expected. One approach frequently used to evaluate the recovery of contaminated sediments and associated biota is the contaminant tissue levels, or body burden concentrations, in top trophic level fish. In this study, aquatic invertebrates were examined as an indicator of recent exposure to PCBs. The approach was to determine whether invertebrates collected using artificial substrates (i.e., Hester‐Dendy samplers) could be used to discriminate among contaminated sites through the analyses of PCBs in whole homogenates of macroinvertebrates. Macroinvertebrates were sorted, preserved, and analyzed for total PCBs (t‐PCBs), by summing 107 PCB congeners. Macroinvertebrate body burden concentrations showed similar trends to sediment t‐PCB concentrations at the sites sampled. Results from this study indicate that macroinvertebrates can be used to assess sediment contamination among sites that have different PCBs contamination levels. This article is protected by copyright. All rights reserved

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