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Studying toxicity

January 1, 2006

With funding from the George Mitchell Center for the Environment at the University of Maine, a team of scientists used a simple laboratory-based sediment resuspension design, and two well-established aquatic toxicology models, fathead minnows (Pimephales promelas) and zebrafish (Danio rerio), to evaluate if resuspension of Penobscot river sediment significantly elevates the toxicity of river water and to provide preliminary information on the types of chemicals likely to desorb during resuspension. The group collected sediments from two sites with known chemical contamination downstream of the Great Works and Veazie dams. The sediments were examined to determine the dynamics of PAH desorption and degradation under different resuspension frequencies. The scientists used clarified water from resuspension experiments for toxicity tests with the water-flea Ceriodaphnia dubia, and other aquatic test organisms to infer toxicity from sediments from northern California rivers. Data from the study will help ascertain whether metals and/or xenoestrogens are present in the desorption water and give insight into possible avenues of sediment remediation.

Citation Information

Publication Year 2006
Title Studying toxicity
Authors A. Elkus, L. LeBlanc, C. Kim, R. Van Beneden, G. Mayer
Publication Type Article
Publication Subtype Journal Article
Series Title International Water Power and Dam Construction
Index ID 70030622
Record Source USGS Publications Warehouse