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

Monitoring of POPs and PCBs in international monitoring programmes

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

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 results from the sampling trial on water phase (silicone rubber, mussels) and sediment phase (coated glass, sediment samples and worms) were reported to RIKZ, mainly within the deadline. Reporting of PCB and PAHs in mussels from the Swedish test sites was delayed until 2008, and Greenland was only sampled in August 2007, so results from this location was first made available to the steering group at the beginning of 2008. The other results were presented by the PSTS steering group at the ICES Annual Science Conference 2007 (17–21 September) in session J. Results from the Nordic samples (except mussels from Sweden) were included at this point, but only results from calculations on water concentration through the use of PRC and comparisons on reference and national laboratories were presented.


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