Environmental assessment of dredged sediment in the major Latin American seaport (Santos, São Paulo - Brazil): An integrated approach

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Cesar, Augusto [UNIFESP]
Lia, Luiz Renato Bastos
Pereira, Camilo Dias Seabra [UNIFESP]
Santos, Aldo Ramos
Cortez, Fernando Sanzi
Choueri, Rodrigo Brasil [UNIFESP]
De Orte, Manoela Romanó [UNIFESP]
Rachid, Bauer Rodarte Figueiredo
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This work offers an environmental assessment of a dredged sediment disposal area in Santos bay, situated on the central coast of the São Paulo State, Brazil. Sediment quality was evaluated through physicochemical analysis and toxicity tests of sediments collected in the disposal site and adjacent area. the physicochemical characterization of the sediments involved grain size distribution, concentrations of polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs), chlorinated and aromatic hydrocarbons, polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs), pesticides, phthalates, metals and nutrients. Acute and chronic toxicity tests were employed, using amphipods (Tiburonella viscana) and sea urchins (Lythechinus variegatus), respectively. Results revealed toxicity by all the methods applied here, suggesting that the area of disposal of dredged material is significantly altered with respect to sediment quality and probably capable of generating deleterious effects on the local biota. Aiming to elucidate the association between the distinct environmental variables and the biological effects measured in laboratory, Factor Analysis was performed. Results revealed that despite most contaminant concentrations were found below the limits established by Brazilian legislation, biological effects were related to metals (chronic toxicity) and organic compounds (acute toxicity). the application of multivariate analysis proved to be particularly useful to assess and interpret the results in an integrated way, particularly due to the large number of parameters analyzed in environmental assessments, and should be applied in future studies. (C) 2014 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.
Science of the Total Environment. Amsterdam: Elsevier B.V., v. 497, p. 679-687, 2014.