Occurrence and Distribution of Urban Organic Pollutants in the Pohick Region of the Potomac River Watershed (Virginia, USA)




Dove II, Kevin J.

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Polycyclic Aromatic Hydrocarbons (PAHs), Polychlorinated Biphenyls (PCBs) and several Endocrine Disrupting Compounds were examined in the Pohick Bay region of the Potomac River, Virginia, USA. Urban Organic Pollutants (UOPs) were found in nanogram/gram quantities in whole fish tissue, bed sediment and suspended sediment. Analytes of interest were extracted from environmental samples using Microwave Assisted Extraction using acetone:hexane as the solvent. Replicate samples from the Pohick Bay region were examined by Gas Chromatography/Mass Spectroscopy. Concentrations of UOPs in the Lower Pohick watershed reveal that the upstream wastewater treatment plant (WWTP) is a possible point source of certain chemicals including triclosan and bisphenol A, PCBs, and PAHs. Loading of creeks and streams from WWTPs that feed into larger water bodies adds to the complexity of modeling a tidal water body such as the Potomac River. Consensus-based Threshold Effect Concentrations (TECs) have also been compared to analyte concentrations of PCBs and PAHs in bed sediment. Human and watershed health implications, including exposure to endocrine disrupting compounds, should be analyzed to determine possible detrimental effects of utilization of the watershed.



Endocrine disrupting chemicals, Gas chromatography, Mass spectrometry, PCBs, PAHs, Pohick Bay, Microwave accelerated extraction, WWTP