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
Chemical mixtures were collected from multiple Superfund sites during 2013-14 including Oregon's Portland Harbor, Oregon's McCormick and Baxter Waterway, and Washington's Lower Duwamish Waterway along with several sites in northern Washington with two tribal partners (Samish and Swinomish). Samples were analyzed using passive samplers. The passive sampler mixtures were simplified through chemical fractionation and through the process numerous chemicals were eliminated as the cause of toxicity as measuring each fraction as evaluated by the zebrafish model. Complimentary to the effects directed fractionation process to simplify mixtures, Anderson and her research team also performed component-bases analysis. The component-based analysis (CBA) combined analytes in the same concentration and fixed ratios as found in the environment. CBA combinations of two oxygenated PAHs were found to have more than additive responses in the zebrafish model (toxicity). Bioavailable mixtures are complex combining effects directed and component based analyses they are able to tease out toxicants of concern and assess mixture effects. Passive sampler extracts and simulated real world mixtures were exposed to UV stressors. UV was applied with terrestrial relevant intensity and wavelengths. Precursor and transformation of PAH were determined with gas chromatograph mass spectrometry. The research team paired passive samplers with resident organisms, crayfish, at Portland Harbor Superfund. Researchers were able to successfully predict crayfish PAH concentrations from models based on passive sampler concentrations.