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Your Environment. Your Health.

Progress Reports: Oregon State University: Developing and Evaluating Technology to Measure PAH Fate and Exposures

Superfund Research Program

Developing and Evaluating Technology to Measure PAH Fate and Exposures

Project Leader: Kim A. Anderson
Grant Number: P42ES016465
Funding Period: 2009-2025

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Progress Reports

Year:   2019  2018  2017  2016  2015  2014  2013  2012  2011  2010  2009 

For the first time, the diffusive flux of polyaromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs) was measured across the sediment-water and water-air interfaces concurrently. Results from this study at the Portland Harbor and the McCormick and Baxter Superfund sites will help remediation managers and risk assessors prioritize cleanup efforts and identify potential PAH sources which may undermine those efforts. Additionally, this research showed that PAHs may ultimately be transported from the sediment to the air resulting in exposure to PAHs for those living near Superfund sites. This finding highlights the importance of considering the inhalation route of exposure for those who live near sites with sediment contamination. A passive sampling model was constructed to predict the accumulation of 62 PAHs in butter clams, an important food source for Native American tribes of the Salish Sea region. The model in this study was able to predict PAH clam concentrations from sediment porewater concentrations within a factor of two, a PAH model for 62 PAHs from the edible portion has never before been demonstrated. Importantly, this model may obviate the need to remove clams, for biomonitoring purposes, from an already fragile ecosystem. The researchers round out assessment of PAH transport and bioaccumulation by examining the toxicity of an environmentally relevant, passive sampling derived, PAH mixture in zebrafish. Importantly, they showed that the general concentration addition model may be sufficient for assessing the summation of developmental toxicity endpoints for these PAH mixtures in zebrafish.

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