A sediment quality assessment survey and subsequent toxicity identification evaluation (TIE) study was conducted at several sites in Puget Sound, Washington. The sites were previously suspected of contamination with ordnance compounds. The initial survey employed sea urchin porewater toxicity tests to locate the most toxic stations. Sediments from the most toxic stations were selected for comprehensive chemical analyses. Based on the combined information from the toxicity and chemical data, three adjacent stations in Ostrich Bay were selected for the TIE study. The results of the phase I TIE suggested that organics and metals were primarily responsible for the observed toxicity in the sea urchin fertilization test. In addition to these contaminants, ammonia was also contributing to the toxicity for the sea urchin embryological development test. The phase II TIE study isolated the majority of the toxicity in the fraction containing nonpolar organics with high log Kow, but chemical analyses failed to identify a compound present at a concentration high enough to be responsible for the observed toxicity. The data suggest that some organic or organometallic contaminant(s) that were not included in the comprehensive suite of chemical analyses caused the observed toxicological responses.
Additional publication details
Sediment toxicity identification evaluation (TIE) studies at marine sites suspected of ordnance contamination
Archives of Environmental Contamination and Toxicology