Pollutant concentrations and toxic effects on the red alga Ceramium tenuicorne of sediments from natural harbors and small vessel harbors on the west coast of Sweden

2016 | Arch. Environ. Contam. Toxicol. | 70 (3) (583-594)
environmental protection agency , flouranthene , harbour sediment , hull , motor exhaust , pollutant concentration , pollution index , risk assessment , sediment concentration , sediment core , sediment sample , sediment toxicity , surface sediment , water framework directive , wood

This investigation set out to analyze the toxicity of surface sediments in a number of natural harbors and small boat harbors on the west coast of Sweden. This was done with the growth inhibition method with Ceramium tenuicorne. Also, concentrations of copper (Cu), lead (Pb), zinc (Zn), irgarol, organotin compounds, and polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs) in the sediments were analyzed. The small boat harbors were heavily polluted by Cu, Zn, butyltins, and PAHs, and to a lesser extent by Pb. The Cu, Pb, Zn, and butyltins probably originated from their past and/or present use in antifouling paints, whereas the PAHs probably had multiple sources, including boat motor exhausts. The measured toxicity of the sediment was generally related to their Cu, Zn, and butyltin content, although other toxic substances than those analyzed here probably contributed to the toxicity in some of the harbors. The natural harbor sediments contained less pollutants and were less toxic than the small boat harbor sediments. Nevertheless, our data indicate that the boating pressure today may be high enough to produce toxic effects even in natural harbors in pristine areas. The strongest relationship between toxicity and the major pollutants was obtained when the sediment toxicity was expressed as gram wet weight per liter compared with gram dry weight per liter and gram total organic carbon per liter. Hence, for pollutants that can be elutriated with natural sea water, sediment toxicity expressed as gram wet weight per liter appears preferable.

Sampling strategy for estimating human exposure pathways to consumer chemicals.

Papadopoulou, E.; Padilla-Sanchez, J.A.; Collins, C.D.; Cousins, I.T.; Covaci, A.; de Wit, C.A.; Leonards, P.E.G.; Voorspoels, S.; Thomsen, C.; Harrad, S.; Haug, L.S.
2016 | Emerging Contaminants | 2 (26-36)

Screening-level Models to Estimate Partition Ratios of Organic Chemicals between Polymeric Materials, Air and Water

Reppas-Chrysovitsinos E; Sobek A; MacLeod M
2016 | Environ. Sci.: Processes Impacts

Hygroscopicity of nanoparticles produced from homogeneous nucleation in the CLOUD experiments

Kim, J., Ahlm, L., Yli-Juuti, T., Lawler, M., Keskinen, H., Tröstl, J., Schobesberger, S., Duplissy, J., Amorim, A., Bianchi, F., Donahue, N. M., Flagan, R. C., Hakala, J., Heinritzi, M., Jokinen, T., Kürten, A., Laaksonen, A., Lehtipalo, K., Miettinen, P., Petäjä, T., Rissanen, M. P., Rondo, L.; Sengupta, K.; Simon, M.; Tomé, A.; Williamson, C.; Wimmer, D.; Winkler, P. M.; Ehrhart, S.; Ye, P.; Kirkby, J.; Curtius, J.; Baltensperger, U.; Kulmala, M.; Lehtinen, K. E. J.; Smith, J. N.; Riipinen, I.; Virtanen, A.
2016 | Atmos. Chem. Phys. | 16 (293-304)

Criteria for Reporting and Evaluating ecotoxicity Data (CRED): comparison and perception of the Klimisch and CRED methods for evaluating reliability and relevance of ecotoxicity studies

Kase R; Korkaric M; Werner I; Ågerstrand M
2016 | Environ Sci Eur | 28 (7)

The regulatory evaluation of ecotoxicity studies for environmental risk and/or hazard assessment of chemicals is often performed using the method established by Klimisch and colleagues in 1997. The method was, at that time, an important step toward improved evaluation of study reliability, but lately it has been criticized for lack of detail and guidance, and for not ensuring sufficient consistency among risk assessors.

A new evaluation method was thus developed: Criteria for Reporting and Evaluating ecotoxicity Data (CRED). The CRED evaluation method aims at strengthening consistency and transparency of hazard and risk assessment of chemicals by providing criteria and guidance for reliability and relevance evaluation of aquatic ecotoxicity studies. A two-phased ring test was conducted to compare and characterize the differences between the CRED and Klimisch evaluation methods. A total of 75 risk assessors from 12 countries participated. Results show that the CRED evaluation method provides a more detailed and transparent evaluation of reliability and relevance than the Klimisch method. Ring test participants perceived it to be less dependent on expert judgement, more accurate and consistent, and practical regarding the use of criteria and time needed for performing an evaluation.

We conclude that the CRED evaluation method is a suitable replacement for the Klimisch method, and that its use may contribute to an improved harmonization of hazard and risk assessments of chemicals across different regulatory frameworks.

The Use of Carbonaceous Particle Exposure Metrics in Health Impact Calculations

Olstrup, H.; Johansson, C.; Forsberg, B.
2016 | Int J Environ Res Public Health | 13 (249) (2-17)

Combustion-related carbonaceous particles seem to be a better indicator of adverse health
effects compared to PM2.5 and PM10. Historical studies are based on black smoke (BS), but more recent
studies use absorbance (Abs), black carbon (BC) or elemental carbon (EC) as exposure indicators. To
estimate health risks based on BS, we review the literature regarding the relationship between Abs,
BS, BC and EC. We also discuss the uncertainties associated with the comparison of relative risks
(RRs) based on these conversions. EC is reported to represent a proportion between 5.2% and 27% of
BS with a mean value of 12%. Correlations of different metrics at one particular site are higher than
when different sites are compared. Comparing all traffic, urban and rural sites, there is no systematic
site dependence, indicating that other properties of the particles or errors affect the measurements
and obscure the results. It is shown that the estimated daily mortality associated with short-term
levels of EC is in the same range as PM10, but this is highly dependent on the EC to BS relationship
that is used. RRs for all-cause mortality associated with short-term exposure to PM10 seem to be
higher at sites with higher EC concentrations, but more data are needed to verify this.

Removal of polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons and genotoxic compounds in urban air using air filter materials for mechanical ventilation in buildings

Sadiktsis, I.; Nilsson, G.; Johansson, U.; Rannug, U.; Westerholm, R.
2016 | Sci technol built env | 22 (3) (346-355)

Humans spend most of their lives in indoor environments; hence, indoor exposure to air pollution may constitute a large part of the total exposure to air pollution. Polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons are well known for their mutagenicity and carcinogenicity and are ubiquitous in urban environments as a result of combustion from e.g. vehicular traffic. Polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons associated to air particulate matter in indoor environments originates from several sources including: cooking and heating, outdoor sources, smoking, candle and incense burning. Infiltration has been suspected to be one major source of indoor polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons. In this study, four different air filter materials intended for mechanical ventilation were tested for their capability to remove particle bound polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons and other genotoxic compounds from a real urban aerosol. Particles were sampled at two highly trafficked locations in Stockholm using a sampling system capable of sample particles in parallel, thus allowing sampling of filtered and un-filtered air simultaneously. The sampled particles were extracted and analysed for polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons and the genotoxicity of the organic extract was determined using Ames mutagenicity tests. Each air filters capability of removing polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons and reducing genotoxic effects was determined by comparing the filtered and un-filtered air samples. The results showed that all air filter materials had the capability of removing polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons and reduce genotoxic effects downstream the air filter, and that the magnitude of the reduction was correlated with the standardized particulate collection efficiencies of a 0.4 μm particles for the tested air filter materials. However, the filter with the lowest performance did not significantly reduce direct acting mutagens.

Fate of Pharmaceuticals and Their Transformation Products in Rivers: An integration of target analysis and screening methods to study attenuation processes

2016 | SU | ISBN: 978-91-7649-292-5

Pharmaceuticals are environmental contaminants causing steadily increasing concern due to their high usage, ubiquitous distribution in the aquatic environment, and potential to exert adverse effects on the ecosystems. After being discharged from wastewater treatment plants (WWTPs), pharmaceuticals can undergo transformation processes in surface waters, of which microbial degradation in river sediments is considered highly significant. In spite of a substantial number of studies on the occurrence of pharmaceuticals in aquatic systems, a comprehensive understanding of their environmental fate is still limited. First of all, very few consistent datasets from lab-based experiments to field studies exist to allow for a straightforward comparison of observations. Secondly, data on the identity and occurrence of transformation products (TPs) is insufficient and the relation of the behavior of TPs to that of their parent compounds (PCs) is poorly understood. In this thesis, these knowledge gaps were addressed by integrating the TP identification using suspect/non-target screening approaches and PC/TP fate determination. The overarching objective was to improve the understanding of the fate of pharmaceuticals in rivers, with a specific focus on water-sediment interactions, and formation and behavior of TPs. In paper I, 11 pharmaceutical TPs were identified in water-sediment incubation experiments using non-target screening. Bench-scale flume experiments were conducted in paper II to simultaneously investigate the behavior of PCs and TPs in both water and sediment compartments under more complex and realistic hydraulic conditions. The results illustrate that water-sediment interactions play a significant role for efficient attenuation of PCs, and demonstrate that TPs are formed in sediment and released back to surface water. In paper III the environmental behavior of PCs along stretches of four wastewater-impacted rivers was related to that of their TPs. The attenuation of PCs is highly compound and site specific. The highest attenuation rates of the PCs were observed in the river with the most efficient river water-pore water exchange. This research also indicates that WWTPs can be a major source of TPs to the receiving waters. In paper IV, suspect screening with a case-control concept was applied on water samples collected at both ends of the river stretches, which led to the identification of several key TPs formed along the stretches. The process-oriented strategies applied in this thesis provide a basis for prioritizing and identifying the critical PCs and TPs with respect to environmental relevance in future fate studies.

Amplification of Arctic warming by past air pollution reductions in Europe

Acosta Navarro, J.; Varma, V.; Riipinen, I.; Seland, Ø.; Kirkevåg, A.; Struthers, H.; Iversen, T.; Hansson, H.-C.; Ekman, A. M. L.
2016 | Nat. Geosci. | 9 (277-281)

Modeling total particulate organic carbon (POC) flows in the Baltic Sea catchment

Strååt, Kim Dahlgren; Mörth, Carl-Magnus; Sobek, Anna; Smedberg, Erik; Undeman, Emma
2016 | Biogeochemistry

The largest input source of carbon to the Baltic Sea catchment is river discharge. A tool for modeling riverine particulate organic carbon (POC) loads on a catchment scale is currently lacking. The present study describes a novel dynamic model for simulating flows of POC in all major rivers draining the Baltic Sea catchment. The processes governing POC input and transport in rivers described in the model are soil erosion, in-stream primary production and litter input. The Baltic Sea drainage basin is divided into 82 sub-basins, each comprising several
land classes (e.g. forest, cultivated land, urban areas) and parameterized using GIS data on soil characteristics and topography. Driving forces are temperature, precipitation, and total phosphorous concentrations. The model evaluation shows that the model can predict annual average POC concentrations within a factor of about 2, but generally fails to capture the timing of monthly peak loads. The total annual POC load to the Baltic Sea is estimated to be 0.34 Tg POC, which constitutes circa 7–10 % of the annual total organic carbon (TOC) load. The current lack of field measurements of POC in rivers hampers more accurate predictions of seasonality in POC loads to the Baltic Sea. This study, however, identifies important knowledge gaps and provides a starting point for further explorations of large scale POC mass flows.

Metal contamination at recreational boatyards linked to the use of antifouling paints—investigation of soil and sediment with a field portable XRF

2016 | Environ Sci Pollut Res

A mass budget for mercury and methylmercury in the Arctic Ocean

Anne L. Soerensen; Daniel J. Jacob; Amina T. Schartup; Jenny A. Fisher; Igor Lehnherr; Vincent L. St. Louis; Lars-Eric Heimbürger; Jeroen E. Sonke; David P. Krabbenhoft; Elsie M. Sunderland
2016 | Global Biogeochem Cycles | 30 (560-575)

Elevated biological concentrations of methylmercury (MeHg), a bioaccumulative neurotoxin, are
observed throughout the Arctic Ocean, but major sources and degradation pathways in seawater are not well
understood. We develop a mass budget for mercury species in the Arctic Ocean based on available data since
2004 and discuss implications and uncertainties. Our calculations show that high total mercury (Hg) in Arctic
seawater relative to other basins reflect large freshwater inputs and sea ice cover that inhibits losses through evasion. We find that most net MeHg production (20 Mg a 1) occurs in the subsurface ocean (20–200 m). There it 1
is converted to dimethylmercury (Me2Hg: 17 Mg a ), which diffuses to the polar mixed layer and evades to the atmosphere (14 Mg a 1). Me2Hg has a short atmospheric lifetime and rapidly degrades back to MeHg.
We postulate that most evaded Me2Hg is redeposited as MeHg and that atmospheric deposition is the largest net MeHg source (8 Mg a 1) to the biologically productive surface ocean. MeHg concentrations in Arctic Ocean seawater are elevated compared to lower latitudes. Riverine MeHg inputs account for approximately 15% of inputs to the surface ocean (2.5 Mg a 1) but greater importance in the future is likely given increasing freshwater discharges and permafrost melt. This may offset potential declines driven by increasing evasion from ice-free surface waters. Geochemical model simulations illustrate that for the most biologically relevant regions of the ocean, regulatory actions that decrease Hg inputs have the capacity to rapidly affect aquatic Hg concentrations.

Contact information

Visiting addresses:

Geovetenskapens Hus,
Svante Arrhenius väg 8, Stockholm

Arrheniuslaboratoriet, Svante Arrhenius väg 16, Stockholm (Unit for Analytical and Toxicological Chemistry)

Mailing address:
Department of Environmental Science and Analytical Chemistry (ACES)
Stockholm University
106 91 Stockholm

Press enquiries should be directed to:

Stella Papadopoulou
Science Communicator
Phone +46 (0)8 674 70 11