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GLIN==> USGS releases new report on contaminants in bed sediments in Lake Erie-LakeSt. Clair Drainages



August 14, 2001


WRI 00-4200. MICHIGAN, OHIO, INDIANA, PENNSYLVANIA, NEW YORK. Areal
Distribution and Concentrations of Contaminants of Concern in Surficial
Streambed and Lakebed Sediments, Lake Erie-Lake Saint Clair Drainages,
1990-97. By S.J. Rheaume, D.T. Button, D.N. Myers, and D.L. Hubbell, 60
pages.


U.S. Geological Survey Earth Science Information Center, Box 25286, MS 517,
Denver Federal Center, Denver, CO 80225, USGS Water-Resources
Investigations Report 00-4200, 60 p., 27 figs. Also copies are available
at: Donna Myers, U.S. Geological Survey, 6480 Doubletree Avenue, Columbus,
OH 43229-1111, (614) 430-7715, dnmyers@usgs.gov


available on-line at http://oh.water.usgs.gov/nawqa/index.html, or from

U.S. Geological Survey Earth Science Information Center, Box 25286, MS 517,
Denver Federal Center, Denver, CO 80225, USGS Water-Resources
Investigations Report 00-4200, 60 p., 27 figs.

Abstract


Concerns about elevated concentrations of contaminants such as
polychlorinated biphenyls and mercury in aquatic bed sediments throughout
the Great Lakes Basin have resulted in a need for better understanding of
the scope and severity of the problem. Various organochlorine pesticides,
polychlorinated biphenyls, trace metals, and polycyclic aromatic
hydrocarbons are a concern because of their ability to persist and
accumulate in aquatic sediments and their association with adverse aquatic
biological effects. The areal distribution and concentrations in surficial
bed sediments of 20 contaminants of concern with established
bed-sediment-toxicity guidelines were examined in relation to their
potential effects on freshwater aquatic biota. Contaminants at more than
800 sampling locations are characterized in this report. Surficial
bed-sediment-quality data collected from 1990 to 1997 in the Lake Erie-Lake
Saint Clair Drainages were evaluated to reflect recent conditions. In
descending order, concentrations of total polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons,
phenanthrene, total polychlorinated biphenyls, chrysene, benz[a]anthracene,
benzo[a]pyrene, cadmium, lead, zinc, arsenic, and mercury were the
contaminants that most commonly exceeded levels associated with probable
adverse effects on aquatic benthic organisms. The highest concentrations of
most of these contaminants in aquatic bed sediments are confined to the 12
specific geographic Areas of Concern identified in the 1987 Revisions to
the Great Lakes Water Quality Agreement of 1972. An exception is arsenic,
which was detected at concentrations exceeding threshold effect levels at
many locations outside Areas of Concern.


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