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Ecotoxicology 2010 Apr 01;194:678-96. doi: 10.1007/s10646-009-0442-y.
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Harmonised framework for ecological risk assessment of sediments from ports and estuarine zones of North and South Atlantic.

Choueri RB , Cesar A , Abessa DM , Torres RJ , Riba I , Pereira CD , Nascimento MR , Morais RD , Mozeto AA , DelValls TA .

This paper presents a harmonised framework of sediment quality assessment and dredging material characterisation for estuaries and port zones of North and South Atlantic. This framework, based on the weight-of-evidence approach, provides a structure and a process for conducting sediment/dredging material assessment that leads to a decision. The main structure consists of "step 1" (examination of available data); "step 2" (chemical characterisation and toxicity assessment); "decision 1" (any chemical level higher than reference values? are sediments toxic?); "step 3" (assessment of benthic community structure); "step 4" (integration of the results); "decision 2" (are sediments toxic or benthic community impaired?); "step 5" (construction of the decision matrix) and "decision 3" (is there environmental risk?). The sequence of assessments may be interrupted when the information obtained is judged to be sufficient for a correct characterisation of the risk posed by the sediments/dredging material. This framework brought novel features compared to other sediment/dredging material risk assessment frameworks: data integration through multivariate analysis allows the identification of which samples are toxic and/or related to impaired benthic communities; it also discriminates the chemicals responsible for negative biological effects; and the framework dispenses the use of a reference area. We demonstrated the successful application of this framework in different port and estuarine zones of the North (Gulf of Cádiz) and South Atlantic (Santos and Paranaguá Estuarine Systems).

PubMed ID: 19943108
Article link: Ecotoxicology

References [+] :
Abessa, Influence of a Brazilian sewage outfall on the toxicity and contamination of adjacent sediments. 2005, Pubmed