Aquatic toxicology (Amsterdam, Netherlands)

Application of isotope dilution method for measuring bioavailability of organic contaminants sorbed to dissolved organic matter (DOM).

PMID 26037097


Natural waters such as surface water and sediment porewater invariably contain dissolved organic matter (DOM). Association of strongly hydrophobic contaminants (HOCs) with DOM leads to decreased toxicity and bioavailability, but bioavailability of DOM-sorbed HOCs is difficult to measure. Current methods to estimate bioavailability of HOCs in water are based on only the freely dissolved concentration (Cfree). The ignorance of the exchangeable fraction of HOCs sorbed on DOM may result in an underestimation of the toxicity potential of HOCs to aquatic organisms. Here we explore the applicability of an isotope dilution method (IDM) to measuring the desorption fraction of DOM-sorbed pyrene and bifenthrin and determining their exchangeable pool (E) as an approximation of bioavailability. E values, expressed as percentage of the total concentration, ranged between 0.80 and 0.92% for pyrene and 0.74 and 0.85% for bifenthrin, depending primarily on the amount of chemical in the freely dissolved form. However, between 34 and 78% of the DOM-sorbed pyrene was exchangeable. This fraction ranged between 23% and 82% for bifenthrin. The ability of IDM to predict bioavailability was further shown from a significant relationship (r(2)>0.72, P<0.0001) between E and bioaccumulation into Daphnia magna. Therefore, IDM may be used to improve the bioavailability measurement and risk assessment of HOCs in aquatic systems.

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