Efeitos da dragagem sobre a qualidade de sedimentos contaminados do canal do porto de Santos : biodisponibilidade e toxicidade de metais e compostos orgânicos persistentes
Torres, Ronaldo José
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Contaminated sediments is a worldwide problem, and mobilization of contaminants is one of the most critical issue in environmental risk assessment when dredging projects are concerned. Considering this, we decided to investigate if and how toxic metals and persistent organic compounds such as PAH and PCB are mobilized during dredging operations in the Port of Santos channel (São Paulo State, SE Brazil) in an attempt to assess changes in bioavailability and toxicity of those contaminants. Samples were collected in the dredging site before dredging, in the dredge s hopper (suction hopper dredge) and in the disposal site and its surroundings. Metals and persistent organic compounds were extracted from sediment samples according to USEPA methods for environmental samples. Ecotoxicological assessment was done on bulk sediment samples and in its pore water and elutriate. Results have shown that bulk sediments from the dredging sites are moderately contaminated with As, Pb and Zn and most severely with Hg, as well as had relatively high PCBs and PAHs concentrations (0,8 mg kg-1 for total Hg and 470 μg kg-1 for total PAHs, for example). These results have also shown a 50% increase in the total PAHs concentration in total suspended solids of the water samples collected inside of the dredge s hopper (679 μg kg-1 total PAHs on the total suspended solids against 479 μg kg-1 on bulk sediments from the channel collected on Alemoa terminal). This finding is of great concern as these data refer to the dredge overflow water which is pumped back to the ecosystem during dredging operations. Toxicity tests done with bulk sediment using the amphipod Tiburonella viscana did not show any toxicity, but the tests with the larvae of the sea urchin Lytechinus variegatus showed toxicity to the interstitial waters and elutriates of samples collected in the channel (dredging site), disposal site (sea site) and dredge´s hopper. In this study we also compared the obtained results to the widely used sediment quality guidelines (ERL and ERM), and to a sediment quality assessment scheme (based on various lines of evidence), as well as, to the Brazilian National Council for the Environment resolution called CONAMA 344/04. It can be seen in the results obtained in microcosm experiments (laboratory) that some organic compounds, mainly fluoranthene and pyrene, can be released from the sediments to the water. Such release was detected in the analysis of these compounds adsorbed in semi-permeable membranes (SPMDs) used in these tests. We hope that the results of this study will be used in the future to support a better planning of management strategies in dredging operations and sediment disposal in marine environment in Brazil.