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Issue 7, 2011
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Influence of a collapsed coastal landfill on metal levels in sediments and biota—a portent for the future?

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Abstract

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 hydroxyl radicals suggested raised levels of TOSC in animals from the sites close to or east of the landfill waste. There have been very few studies of direct impact of landfills on the marine environment and this study could serve as a practical model for similar events driven by sea level rise.

Graphical abstract: Influence of a collapsed coastal landfill on metal levels in sediments and biota—a portent for the future?

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Publication details

The article was received on 19 Jan 2011, accepted on 26 Apr 2011 and first published on 19 May 2011


Article type: Paper
DOI: 10.1039/C0EM00741B
Citation: J. Environ. Monit., 2011,13, 1961-1974
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    Influence of a collapsed coastal landfill on metal levels in sediments and biota—a portent for the future?

    N. D. Pope, S. C. M. O'Hara, M. Imamura, T. H. Hutchinson and W. J. Langston, J. Environ. Monit., 2011, 13, 1961
    DOI: 10.1039/C0EM00741B

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