Selection of laboratory methods for partitioning and toxicity tests of sediments has a significant impact on interpretation of aquatic safety of surfactants. This is the case for the assessment of the sediment toxicity of C12 linear alkylbenzene sulfonates, LAS. In this study, the batch‐equilibrium partition coefficient (Kd) was measured as a function of organic carbon, cation exchange capacity, and quantity of sediments. The quantity of sediment was varied from a low of 5 g per 1,000 ml of water to a level of 500 g to 500 ml of water. The measured Kd decreased by an order of magnitude when the ratio of water to sediments increased to 1:1, and as a consequence of this observation, LAS on suspended solids was included in the quantitaton of LAS in the water phase. When measured Kd values were then used to predict the toxicity (based on known aquatic toxicity concentrations of LAS using Ceriodaphnia dubia), LAS was calculated to be an order of magnitude less toxic by the low‐solids test compared to the high‐solids test system. This work reaffirms that selection of a laboratory test to assess environmental safety must be made on the basis of its correlation to the real‐world behavior of the surfactant.
Environmental Toxicology & Chemistry – Wiley
Published: Feb 1, 1995
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