Standard Test Method for Determination of Parent and Alkyl Polycyclic Aromatics in Sediment Pore Water Using Solid-Phase Microextraction and Gas Chromatography/Mass Spectrometry in Selected Ion Monitoring Mode
|Publication Date:||1 December 2011|
The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (USEPA) narcosis model for benthic organisms in sediments contaminated with polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs) is based on the concentrations of dissolved PAHs in the interstitial water or "pore water" in sediment. This test method covers the separation of pore water from PAH-impacted sediment samples, the removal of colloids, and the subsequent measurement of dissolved concentrations of the required 10 parent PAHs and 14 groups of alkylated daughter PAHs in the pore water samples. The "24 PAHs" are determined using solidphase microextraction (SPME) followed by Gas Chromatography/Mass Spectrometry (GC/MS) analysis in selected ion monitoring (SIM) mode. Isotopically labeled analogs of the target compounds are introduced prior to the extraction, and are used as quantification references.
Lower molecular weight PAHs are more water soluble than higher molecular weight PAHs. Therefore, USEPA-regulated PAH concentrations in pore water samples vary widely due to differing saturation water solubilities that range from 0.2 µg/L for indeno[1,2,3-cd]pyre
The USEPA narcosis model predicts toxicity to benthic organisms if the sum of the toxic units (ΣTUc) calculated for all "34 PAHs" measured in a pore water sample is greater than or equal to 1. For this reason, the performance limit required for the individual PAH measurements were defined as the concentration of an individual PAH that would yield 1/34 of a toxic unit (TU). However, the focus of this method is the 10 parent PAHs and 14 groups of alkylated PAHs (Table 1) that contribute 95 % of the toxic units based on the analysis of 120 background and impacted sediment pore water samples.3 The primary reasons for eliminating the rest of the 5-6 ring parent PAHs are: (1) these PAHs contribute insignificantly to the pore water TU, and (2) these PAHs exhibit extremely low saturation solubilities that will make the detection of these compounds difficult in pore water. This method can achieve the required detection limits, which range from approximately 0.01 µg/L, for high molecular weight PAHs, to approximately 3 µg/L for high molecular weight PAHs.
The test method may also be applied to the determination of additional PAH compounds (for example, 5- and 6-ring PAHs as described in Hawthorne et al).4 However, it is the responsibility of the user of this standard to establish the validity of the test method for the determination of PAHs other than those referenced in 1.1 and Table 1.
This standard does not purport to address all of the safety concerns, if any, associated with its use. It is the responsibility of the user of this standard to establish appropriate safety and health practices and determine the applicability of regulatory limitations prior to use. For specific hazard statements, refer to Section 9.
3 Hawthorne, S. B., Grabanski, C. B., and Miller, D. J., "Measured Partitioning Coefficients for Parent and Akyl Polycyclic Aromatic Hydrocarbons in 114 Historically Contaminated Sediments: Part I, Koc Values," Environmental Toxicology and Chemistry, 25, 2006, pp. 2901-2911.
4 Hawthorne, S. B., Grabanski, C.B., Miller, D .J., and Kreitinger, J. P., "Solid Phase Microextraction Measurement of Parent and Alkyl Polycyclic Aromatic Hydrocarbons in Milliliter Sediment Pore Water Samples and Determination of KDOC Values," Environmental Science Technology, 39, 2005, pp. 2795-2803.