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.




In recent years, several review articles on passive sampling techniques have been published from Górecki & Namiesnik (2002), Stuer-Lauridsen (2005), Vrana et al. (2005), Namiesnik et al. (2005) and most recently Kot-Wasik et al. (2007) and Seethapathy et al. (2008). They all point to techniques that are close to maturity, with Stuer-Lauridsen scoring only semipermeable membrane devices (SPMDs) as ready for use, but with a note on low density polyethylene (LDPE)/silicone tubing as an upcoming technique.


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