John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.

The changing sources of polychlorinated dibenzo‐p‐dioxins and furans in sediments and the ecological risk for nekton in the lower Passaic River and Newark Bay, New Jersey, USA

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Polychlorinated dibenzo‐p‐dioxins and dibenzofurans (PCDD/Fs) were measured in sediments (surface and deeper sediments) and porewater of the lower Passaic River and Newark Bay (NJ, USA) to apportion their sources and conduct an ecological risk assessment. Positive matrix factorization (PMF) was applied to identify sources of PCDD/Fs. Five source profiles were extracted from the PMF model applied to the sediment samples including chloranil, combustion, polychlorinated biphenyl impurities, mixed urban sources and the historical contamination from the former Diamond Alkali plant (DAP). The ecological risk assessment was estimated using several lines of evidence depending on site specific data (blue crab and fish samples representing different feeding habits and positions in the trophic wood web of the river). Porewater concentrations gave the best estimates of lipid concentrations especially in the blue crab samples (with an average factor difference of 3.8). Calculated hazard quotients (HQ) for the fish samples and blue crab were > 1 based on the no‐effect concentration and tissue screening concentration approaches. At the same time, calculated porewater toxic units were > 1 and sediment concentrations exceeded the published sediment quality guidelines for the protection of fish and benthic species indicating the existence of significant risk to the aquatic life in the Passaic River. Accordingly, further actions and control measures are needed to reduce the emission of PCDD/Fs from ongoing sources. This article is protected by copyright. All rights reserved

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