Relative importance of ingested sediment versus pore water as uptake routes for PAHs to the deposit-feeding oligochaete Ilyodrilus templetoni

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The relative role of sediment pore water and ingested sediment particles to the total uptake of sediment-associated hydrophobic organic contaminants was examined by estimation from a water-only exposure experiment and from a bioenergetic-based toxicokinetic model utilizing experimentally measured sediment ingestion rates, assimilation efficiencies, and elimination rates. Phenanthrene (PHE) and benzo[a]pyrene (BaP) uptake in the bulk deposit-feeding oligochaete, Ilyodrilus templetoni, was measured. Assimilation efficiencies (ASE) were measured using a pulse-chase technique, based on a single-gut-passage time. Sediment-associated phenanthrene exhibited a lower ASE (50%) compared to B aP (80%), possibly due to a general relationship between assimilation and compound log K(ow). Estimated uptake of phenanthrene from pore water alone was essentially equal to the observed total uptake from both ingested sediment and sediment pore water. Estimated contribution of sediment-bound phenanthrene accounted for less than 20% of the total uptake. For benzo[a]pyrene, estimated uptake from sediment ingestion accounted for essentially all of the total uptake and estimated absorption from pore water accounted for <5% of the total uptake. This research provides direct experimental evidence for a predicted increase in the importance of sediment ingestion relative to the pore water route of exposure as the hydrophobicity of organic contaminants increases.

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Archives of environmental contamination and toxicology

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