As an integral part of our continuing research in environmental quality assessment approaches, we have developed a variety of passive integrative sampling devices widely applicable for use in defining the presence and potential impacts of a broad array of contaminants. The semipermeable membrane device has gained widespread use for sampling hydrophobic chemicals from water and air, the polar organic chemical integrative sampler is applicable for sequestering waterborne hydrophilic organic chemicals, the stabilized liquid membrane device is used to integratively sample waterborne ionic metals, and the passive integrative mercury sampler is applicable for sampling vapor phase or dissolved neutral mercury species. This suite of integrative samplers forms the basis for a new passive sampling approach for assessing the presence and potential toxicological significance of a broad spectrum of environmental contaminants. In a proof-of-concept study, three of our four passive integrative samplers were used to assess the presence of a wide variety of contaminants in the waters of a constructed wetland, and to determine the effectiveness of the constructed wetland in removing contaminants. The wetland is used for final polishing of secondary-treatment municipal wastewater and the effluent is used as a source of water for a state wildlife area. Numerous contaminants, including organochlorine pesticides, polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons, organophosphate pesticides, and pharmaceutical chemicals (e.g., ibuprofen, oxindole, etc.) were detected in the wastewater. Herein we summarize the results of the analysis of the field-deployed samplers and demonstrate the utility of this holistic approach.
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A holistic passive integrative sampling approach for assessing the presence and potential impacts of waterborne environmental contaminants