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Water: Contaminated Sediments

Conference Proceedings

National Sediment Bioaccumulation Conference Proceedings


February 1998

The assessment of bioaccumulative sediment contaminants has become an important issue for the U. S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and other federal, state, tribal, and local agencies. Data compiled to date for EPA's National Sediment Quality Survey and the National Listing of Fish and Wildlife Consumption Advisories indicate that the presence of bioaccumulative substances in sediments is a potentially serious national problem.

EPA uses bioaccumulation data to make regulatory decisions in a number of its programs. The Superfund program uses bioaccumulation data to assess contaminated sites for cleanup. Results of bioaccumulation tests are used in the assessment of new and existing industrial chemicals under the Toxic Substances Control Act and in the review process for National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System (NPDES) permits and dredged material discharge permits. Bioaccumulation studies are also required to support registration of pesticides under the Federal Insecticide, Fungicide, and Rodenticide Act. Advances in the science of bioaccumulation assessment and interpretation of assessment results will benefit all of these programs.

EPA sponsored the National Sediment Bioaccumulation Conference during September 11-13, 1996 in Bethesda, Maryland. The purpose of this conference was to present the current state of our knowledge of assessment of bioaccumulative contaminants, to demonstrate how bioaccumulation data can be applied in risk assessments, and to discuss how bioaccumulation data are integrated into the Agency's decision-making processes. The conference was organized into the following seven sessions:

  1. Field and Laboratory Methods for Measuring Bioaccumulation
  2. Interpretation and Applications of Bioaccumulation Results
  3. Modeling Bioavailability of Sediment Contaminants
  4. Food Chain Models and Bioenergetics
  5. Human Health-based Risk Assessment
  6. Ecological-based Risk Assessment
  7. Integrating Bioaccumulation Results into EPA's Decision-making Process


Each session consisted of speaker presentations and a discussion period where the audience could interact with the panel of speakers. The Proceedings provide complete documentation of the conference presentations, panel discussions, and other key conference materials such as the final agenda and attendee list.

You will need Adobe Reader to view some of the files on this page. See EPA's PDF page to learn more.

Day One: Wednesday, September 11

Bioaccumulation Overview and Approaches

Day Two: Thursday, September 12

Bioaccumulation and Risk Assessment

Day 3: Friday, September 13

Bioaccumulation Results and Decision-making


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