Publisher DOI: 10.1007/s11368-013-0721-3
Title: Assessing the risk of a 50-year-old dump site in the Baltic Sea by combining chemical analysis, bioaccumulation, and ecotoxicity
Language: English
Authors: Liehr, Gladys A. 
Heise, Susanne 
Ahlf, Wolfgang 
Offermann, Kristen 
Witt, Gesine 
Keywords: Arctica islandica;Bioaccumulation;Bioassays;Marine sediment contamination;Polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons
Issue Date: 11-Jun-2013
Publisher: Springer
Source: Journal of Soils and Sediments 7 (13): 1270-1283 (2013)
Journal or Series Name: Journal of soils and sediments 
Abstract (english): Purpose: During the late 1950s and early 1960s, industrial waste material highly enriched with various contaminants (e.g., heavy metals, polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs)) was dumped in the inner Bay of Mecklenburg, western Baltic Sea. Between 2002 and 2004, a research program was initiated using chemical analysis in combination with bioanalytical techniques to assess the extent and variability in contamination at this dump site (DS). The data were compared to a reference area (RS) with similar environmental conditions, which is representative of the western Baltic Sea. Materials and methods: Twelve PAHs were investigated to assess their ecological hazard, as they were identified as major pollutants in the dumped material. In addition to analyzing the actual PAH contamination status in the sediments, PAHs measured in the soft tissue of Arctica islandica were also used as an indicator of contaminant bioaccumulation. A biotest battery was applied to determine the toxic effects of contaminants in the sediment. Results and discussion: Significantly elevated PAH concentrations (sum of 12 PAHs) of ∼3,000 ng g-1 dw and higher bioaccumulation factors (BAFs) were determined in the soft body tissue of A. islandica collected at DS (t test, p = 0.025). The results also showed that the sediment PAH contamination was significantly higher at DS (1,952-5,466 ng g-1 dw) than at RS (1,384-2,315 ng g-1 dw). The results revealed a major heterogeneity in the PAH concentration at DS due to an attempt to cover the toxic material with clean clay. This resulted in a more heterogeneous distribution of the dump material rather than covering it up completely. However, not all relevant contaminants were included in this study, not only because it is too costly to determine them all but also because unidentified contaminants present at concentrations below the limit of detection cannot be measured. Bioassays were used to fill this gap in the hazard assessment in a cost-effective way by investigating the possible effects of sediment contamination on benthic organisms. The results showed a high variability and magnitude of growth and luminescence inhibition. Bacterial contact tests with marine organisms showed a high toxicity response (>80 % inhibition) from DS sediments. In contrast, the luminescent bacteria test (Vibrio fischeri) showed equivalent effects of sediments from both DS and RS. Conclusions: The spatial distribution of toxicity in DS, the bioaccumulation in mussels and the analytical evidence of PAH pollution clearly show that the dumped material still represents a potential risk even after 60 years. © 2013 Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg.
ISSN: 1614-7480
Institute: Baustatik und Stahlbau (HB-4) 
Umwelttechnik und Energiewirtschaft V-9 
Type: (wissenschaftlicher) Artikel
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