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Dioxin and dioxin-like activity in sediments of the Belgian Coastal Area (Southern North Sea)
Sanctorum, H.; Windal, I.; Hanot, V.; Goeyens, L.; Baeyens, W. (2007). Dioxin and dioxin-like activity in sediments of the Belgian Coastal Area (Southern North Sea). Arch. Environ. Contam. Toxicol. 52(3): 317-325.
Peer reviewed article  

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    Marien/Kust; Brak water

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  • Sanctorum, H.
  • Windal, I.
  • Hanot, V.

    Dioxin and dioxin-like activity in sediments of the North Sea, along the Belgian coast, was assessed with the bioassay CALUX (Chemically Activated LUciferase gene eXpression). Crude extracts of the samples as well as the dioxin fraction (PCDD/Fs) obtained after a thorough clean-up procedure were analyzed with the CALUX method. When analyzing the cleaned extract, a general low contamination level is observed (around 0.1 pg CALUX-TEQ/g sediment), except at the mouth of the two main rivers—the Yser and the Scheldt—where concentrations measured are about 100 times higher (10–42 pg CALUX-TEQ/g sediment). Much higher potencies are measured for the crude extracts compared to the cleaned ones. In the crude extracts, the highest dioxin-like activities were again observed at the mouth and outflow of the two rivers (600–7200 pg CALUX-TEQ/g sediment). These activities are at least two orders of magnitude higher than the ones found at the coastal and sea stations (1.3–45 pg CALUX-TEQ/g sediment). The difference in activity between cleaned and crude sediment extracts is due to the presence of dioxin-like compounds such as, for example, non-ortho and mono-ortho polychlorinated biphenyls and polybrominated dioxins, but also to PAHs. The percentage of five major PAHs in the crude samples at the river mouths, when using the average activities in those samples, varies between 25% and 50%.

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