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Evaluation of planar halogenated and polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons in estuarine sediments using ethoxyresorufin-O-deethylase induction of H4IIE cells

January 1, 2000

Polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs) and planar halogenated hydrocarbons (PHHs), including polychlorinated dibenzo-p-dioxins (PCDDs), dibenzofurans (PCDFs), and biphenyls (PCBs) were determined in fractionated sediment extracts from the Hudson-Raritan estuary and Newark Bay, New Jersey, USA, as part of a comprehensive risk assessment. Contributions of PCDDs/PCDFs, PCBs, and PAHs to the total toxic equivalents (TEQs) were measured using an H4IIE bioassay and calculated from instrumentally determined concentrations using international toxic equivalency factors. The H4IIE TEQs of whole and fractionated extracts were compared to calculated TEQs to investigate the applicability of the bioassay approach for evaluating 7-ethoxyresorufin-O-deethylease induction by PHHs and PAHs present together in complex mixtures. Although 2,3,7,8-tetrachlorodibenzo-p-dioxin contributed from 41 to 79% of the calculated TEQs from PCDDs/PCDFs and planar PCBs in all sediments sampled, the PAH-containing fractions accounted for >80% of the total TEQs determined either instrumentally or by bioassay. Calculated TEQs from PAHs, based on reported toxic equivalency factors for only seven PAHs, were severalfold greater than the bioassay-derived TEQs of PAH-only fractions of the sediment extracts. Significant correlations were observed between bioassay and instrumentally determined toxic equivalents in the more purified fractions but not in fractions only purified by size-exclusion or argentate chromatographies alone.