Evaluation of passive samplers for the monitoring of contaminants in sediment and water

Monitoring of POPs and PCBs in international monitoring programmes

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Passive samplers spiked with performance reference compounds (PRC) were prepared in Holland, and deployed at 9 sites in the Nordic countries and Greenland. Mussels were collected at the same sites to compare passive sampler results with the mussel-watch approach usually applied in national monitoring. Sediments were sampled from 6 sites, and analysed both by total methods and passive samplers for pore water concentration. From the spiked PRCs, sampling rates was calculated, and used to determine water phase concentration of PAHs and other organic compounds with a high octanol-water partitioning coefficient. The project has shown that silicone passive samplers can be used for monitoring programmes, and development of guidelines and quality assurance of analysis are underway. Within the next 2-3 years it could become part of the monitoring strategy of OSPAR, EU and the Nordic Countries.




The method of choice for PSTS was silicone rubber. Guidelines for the analysis and deployment are currently being prepared at ICES MCWG and WGMS. OSPAR MON and SIME have been looking at the results, and consider implementing the use of passive samplers in the Coordinated Environmental Monitoring Programme (CEMP), when the final results of the PSTS are available, and the work with QSR 2010 are finished in 2009. For the use of passive samplers to become mandatory under the CEMP, guidelines, assessment criteria and quality assurance need to be in place, and QUASIMEME are currently offering an intercalibration service for passive samplers, so in principle when assessment criteria (e.g. EQS for the calculated water concentrations) and the guidelines are in place, using passive samplers could become mandatory under the CEMP.


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