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A chemical and toxicological profile of Dutch North Sea surface sediments
Klamer, H.J.C.; Leonards, P.E.G.; Lamoree, M.H.; Villerius, L.A.; Åkerman, J.E.; Bakker, J.F. (2005). A chemical and toxicological profile of Dutch North Sea surface sediments. Chemosphere 58(11): 1579-1587.
In: Chemosphere. Elsevier: Oxford. ISSN 0045-6535; e-ISSN 1879-1298, more
Peer reviewed article  

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Author keywords
    Brominated flame retardants; Phthalates; Dioxin-like toxicity; Estrogenicity; Sediment

Authors  Top 
  • Klamer, H.J.C., more
  • Leonards, P.E.G., more
  • Lamoree, M.H., more
  • Villerius, L.A.
  • Åkerman, J.E.
  • Bakker, J.F.

    Chemical and toxicological profiles were assessed in surface sediments (fraction <63 µm) from the southern North Sea. In extracts of freeze-dried samples, polybrominated biphenyl (PBB), Irgarol 1051 and phthalate concentrations were below the respective detection limits (except di(2-ethylhexyl)phthalate, which was between 170 and 3300 µg kg-1 dry weight (dw)). Hexabromocyclododecane (HBCD) concentrations were between 0.8 and 6.9 µg kg-1 dw, with highest concentrations at river mouths. Polybrominated diphenylethers (PBDE) concentrations were 0.4–0.6 µg kg-1 dw, decabromodiphenylether (BDE209) 1–32 µg kg-1 dw. The ratio BDE209/PCB153 was used as a tracer for recent emissions, and pointed towards a BDE209 source in the Western Scheldt’s upper estuary. PCBs and PAHs were between 0.19–4.7 and 2.6–200 µg kg-1 dw respectively and generally had highest concentrations at near-shore locations and river mouths.

    Responses in the Microtox broad-spectrum and the Mutatox genotoxicity assays were generally low, with near-shore locations giving higher responses. The umu-C genotoxicity and the ER-CALUX assay for estrogenicity showed no response, with the exception of one near-shore location (IJmuiden outer harbour, ER-CALUX).

    Highest dioxin-like toxicity (DR-CALUX) was found at near-shore locations, in the outflow of the Rhine/Meuse estuary including a dumping site of harbour sludge. At the Oyster Grounds, DR-CALUX responses appeared to be linked to the occurrence of larger PAHs (4–6 rings). A new, non-destructive clean up procedure resulted in significantly higher DR-CALUX responses than the current protocol. The Dutch legislation on disposal of harbour sludge at sea, dictates the use of the conventional clean up procedure. Our results therefore indicate that probably more dioxin-like toxicity associated with harbour sludge is disposed off at sea than assumed.

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