Catherine Gourlay-Francé and co-workers, Cemagref, France, have applied a passive sampling technique to the in situ determination of polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbon (PAH) contamination of a river.
Passive sampling provides a time-averaged estimation of contamination. By using strips of nonporous low-density polyethylene (LDPE) membrane, the team monitored PAH concentrations over a period of 36 days. The LDPE strips were placed a in 3-cm depth sediment layer. The accumulated, moderately hydrophobic contaminants where directly exposed. The accumulation of the more hydrophobic PAHs in LDPE was low compared to the total concentrations measured in the sediment. The authors attribute this to low exchange rates and competitive interactions with particles in the sediment.
This represents a move away from the more common, laboratory-based testing of passive sampling techniques, showing that in situ testing has a lot to offer membrane technology and passive sampling.
- ISTA 14—in-situ accumulation of PAHs in low-density polyethylene membranes in sediment
D. A. Devault, M. Combe, C. Gourlay-Francé,
Environ. Toxicol. 2010, 25 (5), 527—532.