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Background Level of Pops in Ground Water Assessed on Chemical and Toxicity Analysis of Exposed Semipermeable Membrane Devices

Author(s): Vladimír Kočí | Tomáš Ocelka | Roman Grabic

Journal: Air, Soil and Water Research
ISSN 1178-6221

Volume: 2;
Start page: 1;
Date: 2009;
Original page

Keywords: detection limits | natural background | POP | secondary groundwater contamination | SPMD | toxicity | Vtox

Persistent compounds are present around almost the entire world. The level of contamination in very old groundwater sources (Cennoman bedrock Mesozoic, approximately 100 million years old) was assessed. This offers an information about realistic natural background. Together with chemical analysis a toxicity evaluation of sampled sites was performed. Semipermeable membrane devices were applied as a sampling system. Exposed SPMDs were analyzed both for chemical contain of POPs and toxicity properties. The chemical analyses of PAHs were made by HPLC-FLD, PCBs and OCPs were analysed by GC/MS/MS on GCQ or PolarisQ (Thermoquest). Toxicity bioassays on alga Desmodesmus subspicatus, bacteria Vibrio fischeri and crustacean Daphnia magna was performed. The results show very low contamination of groundwater with POPs with concentrations close to detection limits of applied analytical tools. Even this low contamination was possible to rank based on the obtained toxicity data. Toxicity proved to be a good parameter for determination of relative POPs contamination where concentration is near to detection limits and thus correct determination of all POPs cannot be undertaken. Although contamination levels were found to be very low, a secondary contamination of PCBs through the bedrock was observed. Organochlorine pesticides were found at a sampling site near a mouth of the ground watershed. Applied toxicity tests confirmed the presence of toxic substances and marked sites of higher contamination. Application of toxicological parameter Vtox allowed the ranking of assessed sites by their contamination level even in cases where concentrations of pollutants were near or under detection limits and it was not therefore possible to rank the sites on the basis of chemical parameters. Toxicity response of bioassays obtained on SPMDs exposed in clean groundwater can be used as a background toxicity values for further SPMD applications. Secondary contamination with PCBs and pesticides was detected in Cennoman groundwater. Toxicity evaluation of SPMD extract can be used as an effective tool for ranking of general level of water contamination.
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