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Transferring mixtures of chemicals from sediment to a bioassay using silicone-based passive sampling and dosing

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Abstract

Environmental mixtures of chemicals consist of a countless number of compounds with unknown identity and quantity. Yet, chemical regulation is mainly built around the assessment of single chemicals. Existing frameworks for assessing the toxicity of mixtures require that both the chemical composition and quantity are known. Quantitative analyses of the chemical composition of environmental mixtures are however extremely challenging and resource-demanding. Bioassays may therefore serve as a useful approach for investigating the combined toxicity of environmental mixtures of chemicals in a cost-efficient and holistic manner. In this study, an unknown environmental mixture of bioavailable semi-hydrophobic to hydrophobic chemicals was sampled from a contaminated sediment in a coastal Baltic Sea area using silicone polydimethylsiloxane (PDMS) as an equilibrium passive sampler. The chemical mixture was transferred to a PDMS-based passive dosing system, and its applicability was demonstrated using green algae Tetraselmis suecica in a cell viability assay. The proportion of dead cells increased significantly with increasing exposure level and in a dose–response manner. At an ambient concentration, the proportion of dead cells in the population was nearly doubled compared to the control; however, the difference was non-significant due to high inter-replicate variability and a low number of replicates. The validation of the test system regarding equilibrium sampling, loading efficiency into the passive dosing polymer, stability of the mixture composition, and low algal mortality in control treatments demonstrates that combining equilibrium passive sampling and passive dosing is a promising tool for investigating the toxicity of bioavailable semi-hydrophobic and hydrophobic chemicals in complex environmental mixtures.

Graphical abstract: Transferring mixtures of chemicals from sediment to a bioassay using silicone-based passive sampling and dosing

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Publication details

The article was received on 07 Jun 2017, accepted on 19 Sep 2017 and first published on 19 Sep 2017


Article type: Paper
DOI: 10.1039/C7EM00228A
Citation: Environ. Sci.: Processes Impacts, 2017, Advance Article
  • Open access: Creative Commons BY-NC license
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    Transferring mixtures of chemicals from sediment to a bioassay using silicone-based passive sampling and dosing

    L. Mustajärvi, A. Eriksson-Wiklund, E. Gorokhova, A. Jahnke and A. Sobek, Environ. Sci.: Processes Impacts, 2017, Advance Article , DOI: 10.1039/C7EM00228A

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