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Title: Assessment and significance of sediment-associated oil and grease in aquatic environments
Authors: DiSalvo, Louis H.
Guard, Harold E.
Hirsch, Nina D.
Ng, James
Keywords: Oil pollution of water
Aquatic ecology
Dredging spoil
Dredged material
Dredged Material Research Program (U.S.)
Publisher: U.S. Army Engineer Waterways Experiment Station
Series/Report no.: Technical Report (Dredged Material Research Program (U.S.)) ; no. Technical Report D-77-26
Abstract: A review of the literature suggests that the term "oil and grease", as used in descriptive and regulatory context for dredged material disposal, is a broadly based term defined by the methodology used in its determination. Oil and grease contains numerous natural and petroleum derived hydrocarbons, plus fats, oil, and waxes of both natural and anthropogenic origin. Also included in oil and grease are trace quantities of fat-soluble materials such as DDT and PCB. Elemental sulfur is a contaminant often included in oil and grease determinations by virtue of its solubility in some organic solvents. Although some oil and grease fractions are readily degraded by microbiological action, many petroleum hydrocarbons are resistant to decomposition. Little is known concerning the effects of sediment-associated oil and grease on organisms and ecosystems, although in the case of certain oil spills it is known that toxic oily residues can be retained over periods of years in sediments with little abatement of their toxic properties. Experimental studies using dredged material contaminated with oil and grease show low toxicity for mussels, clams, crabs, and snails. Minor uptake of hydrocarbons into organism tissues occurred, compared with levels of contaminants in the dredged material tested. In test periods lasting up to 30 days, very little biodegradation of oily residues occurred, suggesting the oil and grease value to be of little use in the prediction of BOD loading. Evaluation of the standard elutriate test with regard to oil and grease suggested this test to be of little value as the small amounts of oil released from the sediments were rapidly adsorbed to the walls of the test vessels.
Description: Technical Report
Gov't Doc #: Technical Report D-77-26
Rights: Approved for Public Release; Distribution is Unlimited
Appears in Collections:Technical Report

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