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Evaluation of Low-Level Field Sampling Methods for PCBs and PBDEs in Surface Waters

Publication number Date Published
19-03-002January 2019
VIEW NOW Evaluation of Low-Level Field Sampling Methods for PCBs and PBDEs in Surface Waters (Number of pages: 70) (Publication Size: 4936KB)

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Author(s) Hobbs, Will; McCall, Melissa; Era-Miller, Brandee
Description Bioaccumulative chemicals such as polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs) and polybrominated diphenylethers (PBDEs) are found in tissues of aquatic organisms in many Washington State waterbodies. In water samples, these contaminants are often at or near the limits of current sampling and analytical methods. Obtaining reliable surface water measurements of these bioaccumulative toxics is difficult; we are therefore limited in our ability to accurately evaluate the sources of these toxics in Washington’s surface waters.

The goal of this study was to assess three approaches for actively sampling PCBs and PBDEs in surface waters. These approaches included:

• In situ solid phase extraction (SPE) using Continuous Low-level Aquatic Monitoring devices (CLAMs).
• Centrifugation and separation of solids and water for analysis.
• Large volume (20L) composite grab samples with filtration and extraction using XAD-2 resin at the analytical laboratory.

When sampling toxics in surface waters for source identification studies, we recommend in situ SPE disks, discrete grab samples, and passive samplers as the most reliable approaches. When comparing samples to criteria thresholds for concentration and exposure duration, large volume composite methods can be reliable when concentrations are well above the analytical reporting limits.
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Keywords surface water contamination, centrifuge, field sampling, CLAM, PCB, samples, toxics, toxics monitoring, sampling, methods, surface water, evaluation, monitoring, PBDE, PBDEs, PCBs, monitor, XAD
WEB PAGE Toxics Studies
DATA Environmental Information Management (EIM) #WHOB003


Quality Assurance Project Plan: Assessment of Methods for Sampling Low-Level Toxics in Surface Waters