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Issue 4, 2011
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Chemical techniques for assessing bioavailability of sediment-associated contaminants: SPMEversusTenax extraction

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Abstract

The traditional approach for predicting the risk of hydrophobic organic contaminants (HOCs) in sediment is to relate organic carbon normalized sediment concentrations to body residues or toxic effects to organisms. However, due to the multiple variables controlling bioavailability, this method has limitations. A matrix independent method of predicting bioavailability needs to be used in order to be universally applicable. Both chemical activity (freely dissolved chemical concentrations) measured by solid-phase microextraction (SPME) and bioaccessibility (rapidly desorbing fraction) estimated by Tenax extraction have been developed to predict bioavailability of sediment-associated HOCs. The objectives of this review are to summarize a number of studies using matrix-SPME or Tenax extraction to estimate bioavailability and/or toxicity of different classes of HOCs and evaluate the strengths and weakness of these two techniques. Although the two chemical techniques assess different components of the matrix, estimates obtained from both techniques have been correlated to organism body residues. The advantages of SPME fibers are their applicability for use in situ and their potential usage for a wide array of contaminants by selection of appropriate coatings. Single time-point Tenax extraction, however, is more time- and labor-effective. Tenax extraction also has lower detection limits, making it more applicable for highly toxic contaminants. This review also calls for additional research to evaluate the role of sequestrated contaminants and ingestion of sediment particles by organisms on HOC bioavailability. The use of performance reference compounds to reduce SPME sampling time and linking chemical based bioavailability estimates to toxicological endpoints are essential to expand the applications of these methods.

Graphical abstract: Chemical techniques for assessing bioavailability of sediment-associated contaminants: SPMEversusTenax extraction

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Publication details

The article was received on 21 Oct 2010, accepted on 15 Feb 2011 and first published on 17 Mar 2011


Article type: Critical Review
DOI: 10.1039/C0EM00587H
Citation: J. Environ. Monit., 2011,13, 792-800
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    Chemical techniques for assessing bioavailability of sediment-associated contaminants: SPMEversusTenax extraction

    J. You, A. D. Harwood, H. Li and M. J. Lydy, J. Environ. Monit., 2011, 13, 792
    DOI: 10.1039/C0EM00587H

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