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Use of the semipermeable membrane device as an in situ sampler of waterborne bioavailable PCDD and PCDF residues at sub-parts-per-quadrillion concentrations

November 1, 2016

Semipermeable membrane devices (SPMDs) were used to passively sample aqueous polychlorinated dibenzo-p-dioxins (PCDDs) and polychlorinated dibenzofurans (PCDFs) in Bayou Meto, AR. The two sites were upstream and downstream from the confluence with a tributary that delivers PCDDs and PCDFs to the Bayou. Following dialysis, cleanup, and fractionation, four replicate 17-9 SPMD samples from each site were analyzed by GUMS, and four were evaluated by H411E bioassay. Traces of only OCDD and HpCDDs were detected in samples from the upstream site. The four samples from below the tributary contained averages of 1550 ± 80 pg of 2,3,7,8-TCDD, 1640 ± 80 pg of 2,3,7,8-TCDF, and lesser quantities of other congeners. The TCDD equivalents obtained by bioassay of replicate SPMD samples agreed well with results obtained by GC/MS. The quantities of 2,3,7,8- TCDD and 2,3,7,8-TCDF sequestered by SPMDs at the downstream site were used to estimate the aqueous concentrations for both compounds as 2 pg/L.