Laboratory-based passive-sampling method used to measure sediment contamination

Posted February 2, 2018

SCCWRP and its partners have successfully used prototype passive-sampling methods in a laboratory to measure the freely dissolved concentrations of organic contaminants in sediment.

Unlike previous applications of passive-sampling technology that require the devices to be deployed in the field, the laboratory-based method would enable data to be obtained in a matter of days instead of weeks; it also would reduce the chances of vandalism of the devices and other unforeseen field disruptions.

The laboratory testing, completed in November, was conducted on sediment samples collected from San Diego Bay.

Researchers are now working to conduct toxicity and bioaccumulation testing on the sediment samples to understand the relationship between the passive-sampling data and observed biological impacts on test organisms.

Passive-sampling methods that measure the freely dissolved concentrations of organic contaminants in sediment have the potential to provide a more accurate measurement of the “bioavailable” portion of the contaminants – a contrast to conventional methods that involve measuring the total concentration of contamination in a sediment sample and often do not accurately measure exposure.

More news related to: Emerging Contaminants, Sediment Quality