Toxicity and Contamination in Bear Creek Sediment: Spatial Analysis and Implications for Risk Assessment
Hartzell, Sharon Hartzell
Yonkos, Lance T
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The sediments of Bear Creek near Baltimore, Maryland demonstrate substantial toxicity to benthic organisms, and contain a complex mixture of organic and inorganic contaminants. The present study maps the spatial extent and depth profile of toxicity and contamination in Bear Creek, and explores correlations between heavy metals, organic contaminants, and toxic responses. Two novel analytical techniques – handheld XRF and an antibody-based PAH biosensor – were applied to samples from the site to quantify total metals and total PAHs in sediments. By comprehensively assessing toxicity in Bear Creek, the present study provides data to inform future risk assessments and management decisions relating for the site, while demonstrating the benefits of applying joint biological assays and chemical assessment methods to sediments with complex contaminant mixtures.