Environmental Monitoring and Assessment

, Volume 24, Issue 2, pp 151–165 | Cite as

Survey and evaluation of contaminants in earthworms and in soils derived from dredged material at confined disposal facilities in the Great Lakes Region

  • W. Nelson Beyer
  • Charles Stafford
Article

Abstract

Soils derived from dredged material were collected, together with earthworms from nine confined disposal facilities located in the Great Lakes Region. These samples were analyzed for 18 elements, 11 organochlorine pesticides, PCBs, and 24 polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons. The concentrations detected in earthworms were evaluated in terms of their potential hazard to wildlife, which for the sake of the evaluation were assumed to prey entirely either on earthworms or on other soil invertebrates having similar concentrations. The soil concentrations (dry wt.) of the contaminants of greatest concern were <1.9 to 32 ppm Cd, <0.053 to 0.94 ppm Hg, 4.6 to 550 ppm Pb, and <0.1 to 1.0 ppm PCBs. The concentrations in earthworms (dry wt., ingested soil included) were as high as 91 ppm Cd, 1.6 ppm Hg, 200 ppm Pb, and 1.8 ppm PCBs. Based on laboratory toxicity studies of relatively sensitive species, and on concentration factors calculated from the earthworm and soil data, we estimated that lethal or serious sublethal effects on wildlife might be expected at concentrations of 10 ppm Cd, 3 ppm Hg, 670 ppm Pb, and 1.7 ppm PCBs in alkaline surface soils derived from dredged material. Concentrations of polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons in earthworms were well below those in soil.

Preview

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

References

  1. Aulerich, R.J. and Ringer, R.K.: 1977, ‘Current Status of PCB Toxicity to Mink, and Effect on Their Reproduction’, Arch. Environ. Contam. Toxicol. 6, 279–292.Google Scholar
  2. Aulerich, R.J., Ringer, R.K. and Iwamoto, S.: 1974, ‘Effects of Dietary Mercury on Mink’, Arch. Environ. Contam. Toxicol. 2, 43–51.Google Scholar
  3. Beyer, W.N., Chaney, R.L. and Mulhern, B.M.: 1982, ‘Heavy Metal Concentrations in Earthworms from Soil Amended with Sewage Sludge’, J. Environ. Qual. 11, 381–385.Google Scholar
  4. Beyer, W.N. and Cromartie, E.J.: 1987, ‘A Survey of Pb, Cu, Zn, Cd, Cr, As, and Se in Earthworms and Soil from Diverse States’, Environ. Monit. Assess. 8, 27–36.Google Scholar
  5. Beyer, W.N., Cromartie, E. and Moment, G.B.: 1985, ‘Accumulation of Methylmercury in the Earthworm, Eisenia foetida, and its Effect on Regeneration’, Bull. Environ. Contam. Toxicol. 35, 157–162.Google Scholar
  6. Beyer, W.N., Miller, G. and Simmers, J.W.: 1990, ‘Trace Elements in Soil and Biota in Confined Disposal Facilities for Dredged Material’, Environ. Pollut. 65, 19–32.Google Scholar
  7. Beyer, W.N., Spann, J.W., Sileo, L. and Franson, J.C.: 1988, ‘Lead Poisoning in Six Captive Avian Species’, Arch Environ. Contam. Toxicol. 17, 121–130.Google Scholar
  8. Brooks, J.M., Wade, T.L., Atlas, E.L., Kennicutt II, M.C., Presley, B.J., Fay, R.R., Powell, E.N. and Wolff, G.: 1989, ‘Analysis of Bivalves and Sediments for Organic Chemicals and Trace Elements’, Third Annual Report for NOAA's National Status and Trends Program, Contract 50-DGNC-5-00262.Google Scholar
  9. Chaney, R.L., Mielke, H.W. and Sterrett, S.B.: 1988, ‘Speciation, Mobility, and Bioavailability of Soil Lead’, Environ. Geochem. and Health 11 (supplement), 105–129.Google Scholar
  10. Commission of the European Communities: 1978, Criteria (Dose/Effect Relationships) for Cadmium, Pergamon Press, Oxford.Google Scholar
  11. Dacre, J.C. and Ter Haar, G.L.: 1977, ‘Lead Levels in Tissues from Rats Fed Soils Containing Lead’, Arch. Environ. Contam. Toxicol. 6, 111–119.Google Scholar
  12. Eisler, R.: 1986, ‘Polychlorinated Biphenyl Hazards to Fish, Wildlife, and Invertebrates: A Synoptic Review’, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service Biological Report 85 (1.7).Google Scholar
  13. Eisler, R.: 1987, ‘Mercury Hazards to Fish, Wildlife, and Invertebrates: A Synoptic Review’, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service Biological Report 85 (1.10).Google Scholar
  14. Eisler, R.: 1988, ‘Lead Hazards to Fish, Wildlife, and Invertebrates: A Synoptic Review’, U.S. Fish and WIldlife Service Biological Report 85 (1.14).Google Scholar
  15. Fabacher, D.L., Schmitt, C.J., Besser, J.M. and Mac, M.J.: 1988, ‘Chemical Characterization and Mutagenic Properties of Polycyclic Aromatic Compounds in Sediment from Tributaries of the Great Lakes’, Environ. Toxicol. Chem. 7, 529–543.Google Scholar
  16. Fuller, G.B. and Hobson, W.C.: 1986, ‘Effects of PCBs on Reproduction in Mammals’, in J.S. Waid (Ed.), PCBs and the Environment, Vol. 2, CRC Press, Boca Raton, FL., pp. 101–125.Google Scholar
  17. Haschek, W.M., Lisk, D.J. and Stehn, R.A.: 1979, ‘Accumulations of Lead in Rodents from Two Old Orchard Sites in New York’, in National Academy of Sciences, Animals as Monitors of Environmental Pollutants, National Academy of Sciences, Washington, D.C., pp. 192–198.Google Scholar
  18. Hatch, W.R. and Ott, W.L.: 1968, ‘Determination of Submicrogram Quantities of Mercury by Atomic Absorption Spectrophotometry’, Anal. Chem. 40, 2085–2087.Google Scholar
  19. Heinz, G.H.: 1976, ‘Methylmercury: Second-Year Feeding Effects on Mallard Reproduction and Duckling Behavior’, J. Wildl. Manage. 40, 82–90.Google Scholar
  20. Heinz, G.H.: 1979, ‘Methylmercury: Reproductive and Behavioral Effects on Three Generations of Mallard Ducks’, J. Wildl. Manage. 43, 394–401.Google Scholar
  21. Heinz, G.H. and Locke, L.N.: 1976, ‘Brain Lesions in Mallard Ducklings from Parents Fed Methylmercury’, Avian Dis. 20, 9–17.Google Scholar
  22. Hesselberg, R.J. and Johnson, J.L.: 1972, ‘Column Extraction of Pesticides from Fish, Fish Food and Mud’, Bull. Environ. Contam. Toxicol. 7 (2/3), 115–120.Google Scholar
  23. Hornshaw, T.C., Aulerich, R.J. and Johnson, H.E.: 1983, ‘Feeding Great Lakes Fish to Mink: Effects on Mink and Accumulation and Elimination of PCBs by Mink’, J. Toxicol. Environ. Health 11, 933–946.Google Scholar
  24. Kay, S.H., Scholten, M.C.Th. and Bowmer, C.T.: 1989, ‘Mobility of Soil Contaminants in an Ecosystem of Trees Growing on Dredged Material — The Broekpolder, Rotterdam, The Netherlands’, Netherlands Organization for Applied Scientific Research, TNO Report R 88/488.Google Scholar
  25. Krynitsky, A.J.: 1987, ‘Preparation of Biological Tissue for Determination of Arsenic and Selenium by Graphite Furnace Atomic Absorption Spectrometry’, Anal. Chem. 59, 1884–1886.Google Scholar
  26. Kubiak, T.J., Harris, H.J., Smith, L.M., Schwartz, T.R., Stalling, D.L., Trick, J.A., Silco, L., Docherty, D.E. and Erdman, T.C.: 1989, ‘Microcontaminants and Reproductive Impairment of the Foster's Tern on Green Bay, Lake Michigan — 1983’, Arch. Environ. Contam. Toxicol. 18, 706–727.Google Scholar
  27. Lillie, R.J., Cecil, H.C., Bitman, J. and Fries, G.F.: 1975, ‘Toxicity of Certain Polychlorinated and Polybrominated Biphenyl on Reproductive Efficiency of Caged Chickens’, Poult. Sci. 54, 1550–1555.Google Scholar
  28. Linzey, A.V.: 1988, ‘Effects of Chronic Polychlorinated Biphenyls Exposure on Growth and Reproduction of Second Generation White-Footed Mice (Peromyscus leucopus)’, Arch. Environ. Contam. Toxicol. 17, 39–45.Google Scholar
  29. Macdonald, D.W.: 1983, ‘Predation on Earthworms by Terrestrial Vertebrates’, in J.E. Satchell (Ed.), Earthworm Ecology, from Darwin to Vermiculture, Chapman and Hall, New York, pp. 393–414.Google Scholar
  30. MacLeod, W.D., Brown, D.W., Friedman, A.J., Burrow, D.G., Mayes, O., Pearce, R.W., Wigren, C.A. and Bogar, R.G.: 1985, ‘Extractable Toxic Organic Compounds’, in Standard Analytical Procedures of the NOAA National Analytical Facility 1985–1986, 2nd Ed. U.S. Department of Commerce, NOAA/NMFS. NOAA Tech. Memo. NMFS F/NWC-92.Google Scholar
  31. Marquenie, J.M., Simmers, J.W. and Kay, S.H.: 1987, ‘Preliminary Assessment of Bioaccumulation of Metals and Organic Contaminants at the Times Beach Confined Disposal Site, Buffalo, N.Y.’, U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Waterways Experiment Station Misc. Paper EL-87-6, Vicksburg, Mississippi, 67 pp.Google Scholar
  32. McLane, M.A.R. and Hall, L.C.: 1972, ‘DDE Thins Screech Owl Eggshells’, Bull. Environ. Contam. Toxicol. 8, 65–68.Google Scholar
  33. Monk, H.E. (Chairman): 1961, ‘Recommended Methods of Analysis of Pesticide Residues in Food-stuffs. Report by the Joint Mercury Residues Panel’, Analyst 86, 608–614.Google Scholar
  34. National Research Council: 1980, Mineral Tolerance of Domestic Animals, National Academy of Sciences, Washington, D.C., 577 pp.Google Scholar
  35. Page, A.L. and Bingham, F.F.: 1973, ‘Cadmium Residues in the Environment’, Residue Rev. 48, 1–44.Google Scholar
  36. Peakall, D.: 1986, ‘Accumulation and Effects on Birds’, in J.S. Waid (Ed.), PCBs and the Environment, Vol. 2, CRC Press, Boca Raton, Florida, pp. 31–47.Google Scholar
  37. Peakall, D.B. and Peakall, M.L.: 1973, ‘Effect of a Polychlorinated Biphenyl on the Reproduction of Artificially and Naturally Incubated Dove Eggs’, J. Appl. Ecol. 10, 863–868.Google Scholar
  38. Platonow, N.S. and Karstad, L.H.: 1973, ‘Dietary Effects of Polychlorinated Biphenyls on Mink’, Can. J. Comp. Med. 37, 391–400.Google Scholar
  39. Platonow, N.S. and Reinhart, B.S.: 1973, ‘The Effects of Polychlorinated Biphenyls (Aroclor 1254) on Chicken Egg Production, Fertility and Hatchability’, Can. J. Comp. Med. 37, 341–346.Google Scholar
  40. Soil Survey Staff: 1951, Soil Survey Manual, U.S. Dept. of Agriculture, U.S. Gov't Printing Office, Washington, D.C.Google Scholar
  41. Sullivan, M.F., Hardy, J.T., Miller, B.M., Buschbom, R.L. and Siewicki, T.C.: 1984, ‘Absorption and Distribution of Cadmium in Mice Fed Diets Containing either Inorganic or Oyster-Incorporated Cadmium’, Toxicol. Appl. Pharmacol. 72, 210–217.Google Scholar
  42. Suzuki, K.T., Yamamura, M. and Muri, T.: 1980, ‘Cadmium-Binding Proteins Induced in the Earthworm’, Arch. Environ. Contam. Toxicol. 9, 415–424.Google Scholar
  43. U.S. Environmental Protection Agency: 1979, Criteria for Classification of Solid Waste Disposal Facilities and Practices, Federal Register, Vol. 44. No. 179, Thursday, September 13, 1979, 40 CFR Part 257.Google Scholar
  44. Wade, T.L., Atlas E.L., Brooks, J.M., Kennicutt II, M.C., Fox, R.G., Sericano, J., Garcia-Romero, B. and DeFreitas, D.: 1988, ‘NOAA Gulf of Mexico Status and Trends Program: Trace Organic Contaminant Distribution in Sediments and Oysters’, Estuaries 11, 171–179.Google Scholar
  45. Wiemeyer, S.N. and Porter, R.D.: 1970, ‘DDE Thins Eggshells of Captive American Kestrels’, Nature 227, 737–738.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Kluwer Academic Publishers 1993

Authors and Affiliations

  • W. Nelson Beyer
    • 1
  • Charles Stafford
    • 1
  1. 1.Patuxent Wildlife Research CenterU.S. Fish and Wildlife ServiceLaurelUSA

Personalised recommendations