Determination of bioavailability and ecotoxicological effects of persistent organic pollutants (POPs) in sediment-pore water systems of coastal and marine environments by using a new in-situ sampling device and a biological test system

The project was funded by pro exzellenzia Hamburg

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Project period  2010-2013

Project leader

Prof. Dr. Gesine Witt

Scholarship holder

Susann Cathrin Lang (PhD student)

Project partner

Prof.Dr. Andrew Hursthouse (University of West of Scotland)

Project description

The study provides the first large-scale data set of freely dissolved concentrations and chemical activities for 9 polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs) and 7 polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs) in Baltic Sea (BS) sediment cores and Temmesjoki River (TR) BED and suspended sediments (TIMS). The freely dissolved porewater concentration was measured with solid phase micro-extraction (SPME), an innovative passive equilibrium sampling method to assess bioavailability of hydrophobic organic contaminants (HOCs). Properties examined included: (i) spatial and temporal gradients of freely dissolved and total sediment concentrations, (ii) baseline toxicity potential on the basis of chemical activities, (iii) site specific mixture compositions, (iv) diffusion gradients within the sediment cores and at the sediment water interface and (v) site specific distribution ratios.