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Interlaboratory comparison of three sediment bioaccumulation tests

March 29, 2022

Standard bioaccumulation tests are commonly conducted using Macoma nasuta (clam), and Alitta virens (polychaete) for marine tests, and Lumbriculus variegatus (an oligochaete) for freshwater tests. Because the interlaboratory variability associated with these tests is unknown, four experienced laboratories conducted standard 28-day bioaccumulation tests with the above species using sediments contaminated with polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs) and polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs). Chemical analysis of tissue samples was performed by a single laboratory. The intralaboratory variance among replicates was relatively low for PCB tissue concentrations, with coefficients of variation (CVs) ranging from 9% to 28% for all laboratories and species, with the exception of one laboratory reporting higher variability for L. variegatus (CV = 51%). Intralaboratory variance for PCB tissue concentrations was higher than interlaboratory variance for A. virens and L. variegatus, and the magnitude of difference (MOD) for laboratory means ranged from 1.4 to 2.0 across species. Intralaboratory variability was also low for lipid content, and lipid normalization of PCB and PAH body residues generally had little impact on variability. In addition to variability across bioassay laboratories, analytical variability was evaluated by different laboratories measuring the concentration of PCBs and total lipids in a subsample of tissue homogenate of sediment-exposed test organisms. Variability associated with tissue analysis was higher than bioassay laboratory variability only in tests with L. variegatus. Statistical differences between samples may be observed due to the low intralaboratory variability; however, the biological significance of these differences may be limited because the MOD is low. Considering the MOD when comparing bioaccumulation across treatments accounts for uncertainty related to inherent variability of the test in the interpretation of statistically significant results.

Publication Year 2022
Title Interlaboratory comparison of three sediment bioaccumulation tests
DOI 10.1002/etc.5300
Authors Guilherme R. Lotufo, James M. Biedenbach, J. Daniel Farrar, Michael K. Chanov, Brian W. Hester, Charles R. Warbritton, Jeffery Steevens, Jenifer M. Netchaev, Anthony J. Bednar, David W. Moore
Publication Type Article
Publication Subtype Journal Article
Series Title Environmental Toxicology and Chemistry
Index ID 70230121
Record Source USGS Publications Warehouse
USGS Organization Columbia Environmental Research Center