Environmental Risks of UXO/MEC
Contaminants in Sediment Addressed
by Laboratory Toxicity Testing
Jon Doi, Ph.D., Aqua Survey, Inc.
The primary focus of the detection and removal of underwater munitions has been for the acute effects on humans, i.e., bombs exploding. However, the greater concern may be on the environmental effects of bomb constituents (propellants and explosives) leaking from bombs for considerable lengths of time. This talk will cover a number of topics on the surveying, sampling and laboratory toxicity testing of UXO/MEC in sediments. There will be a brief discussion on the use of various EM survey devices for UXO/MEC detection and on the sampling techniques used for UXO/MEC-contaminated sediments. The main part of the talk will be on how our laboratory deals with these types of sediments in the laboratory and what tests are useful. Before the sediment is opened for homogenizing and compositing, it is scanned for possible UXO/MECs. The choice of the type of toxicity test to perform (acute, chronic, freshwater, marine or bioaccumulation), the organism chosen, the conditions of the toxicity test are all important decisions to be made in order to determine whether the sediment is likely to have an impact on the benthic community at the UXO/MEC contaminated site. The identification of bomb constituents and possible toxicity associated with these contaminants will be discussed.