Water, Air, and Soil Pollution

, Volume 32, Issue 1–2, pp 233–245 | Cite as

The bioavailability of sediment-sorbed organic chemicals: A review

  • John P. Knezovich
  • Florence L. Harrison
  • Ronald G. Wilhelm
Article

Abstract

Xenobiotic chemicals that are present in aquatic environments are typically concentrated on suspended particles and sedimentary materials where they represent a source of chronic contamination to benthic and pelagic organisms. Laboratory and field studies of bioaccumulation, toxicity, and food-chain transfer of chemicals bound to sediment have shown the potential ecological impacts that may result from the contamination of sediments. In this review, the chemical and physical processes that determine the environmental fate of sediment-sorbed organic chemicals are outlined, and their relationship to bioavailability is discussed. Methods currently used to predict the fate of pollutants in the aquatic environment are of limited use for the assessment of sediment-sorbed chemical bioavailability because they are based on the compound's behavior in the water column. Furthermore, an organism's morphology and ecological niche can profoundly affect its ability to accumulate xenobiotic chemicals from sediments and these must be considered before the populations at greatest risk can be identified.

Keywords

Toxicity Organic Chemical Water Column Great Risk Field Study 

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Copyright information

© D. Reidel Publishing Company 1987

Authors and Affiliations

  • John P. Knezovich
    • 1
  • Florence L. Harrison
    • 1
  • Ronald G. Wilhelm
    • 2
  1. 1.Environmental Sciences Division, L-453Lawrence Livermore National LaboratoryLivermore
  2. 2.Health and Environmental Review Division, Office of Pesticides and Toxic SubstancesU.S. Environmental Protection AgencyWashingtonU.S.A.

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