Influence of a collapsed coastal landfill on metal levels in sediments and biota—a portent for the future?
In May 2008 a coastal landslide deposited landfill debris onto the shore near Lyme Regis, UK. Six months later, intertidal sediments and biota from the area were sampled to determine whether the landslip had affected distribution and bioavailability of metals in the area and if there were any biological effects. Highest sediment concentrations for the majority of metals occurred near the landslip zone and in several cases exceeded Threshold Effects or Probable Effects Levels (As, Cu, Hg, Ni, Pb, Zn). The 1 M HCl-extractable fraction of Cd, Pb and Zn in sediments also increased near the landslip. Metal bioaccumulation by intertidal biota showed variability between different species and metals, but there were several instances of increased accumulation near the landslip through increased availability from seawater, sediment and dietary sources. In most cases, metal concentrations in molluscs exceeded Oslo and Paris Commission (OSPAR) background concentrations (BCs) together with background assessment concentrations (BACs) at some sites. Kidney tissues in winkles (Littorina littorea) were measured for evidence of oxidative stress using the Total Oxyradical Scavenging Capacity (TOSC) assay. Responses to peroxynitrite, peroxyl and