Toxicity of contaminated sediments in dilution series with control sediments
The use of dilutions has been the foundation of our approach for assessing contaminated water, and accordingly, it may be important to establish similar or parallel approaches for sediment dilutions. Test organism responses to dilution gradients can identify the degree of necessary sediment alteration to reduce the toxicity. Using whole sediment dilutions to represent the complex interactions of in situ sediments can identify the toxicity, but the selection of the appropriate diluent for the contaminated sediment may affect the results and conclusions drawn. Contaminated whole sediments were examined to evaluate the toxicity of dilutions of sediments with a diversity of test organisms. Dilutions of the contaminated sediments were prepared with differing diluents that varied in organic carbon content, particle size distribution, and volatile solids. Studies were conducted using four macroinvertebrates and a vascular, rooted plant. Responses by some test organisms followed a sigmoidal dose-response curve, but others followed a U-shaped curve. Initial dilutions reduced toxicity as expected, but further dilution resulted in an increase in toxicity. The type of diluent used was an important factor in assessing the sediment toxicity, because the control soil reduced toxicity more effectively than sand as a diluent of the same sediment. Using sediment chemical and physical characteristics as an indicator of sediment dilution may not be as useful as chemical analysis of contaminants, but warrants further investigation.
Additional publication details
|Publication Subtype||Journal Article|
|Title||Toxicity of contaminated sediments in dilution series with control sediments|
|Contributing office(s)||Columbia Environmental Research Center|
|Google Analytic Metrics||Metrics page|