State Key Laboratory of Environmental Aquatic Chemistry, Research Center for Eco-Environmental Sciences, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Beijing 100085, PR China; University of Chinese Academy of Sciences, Beijing 100049, PR China. Electronic address: [Email]
In this study, we estimated the toxicity risks from river sediments that were affected by multiple pollutants in the Haihe River Basin. We used a range of methods to determine the concentrations, bioavailability, and toxicity of a range of metals and contaminants in sediments and sediment porewater and then assessed the ecological risks and toxicity using various multivariate statistical approaches. We found that more than 70% of the samples were toxic. The concentrations of non-ionic ammonia (0.168-9.295 mg L-1) were generally high in the sediment porewater, while the concentrations of bioavailable chromium (Cr) and polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs) were also high in the porewater samples from NW01 and NW02, respectively. We used the toxic unit (TU) approach, based on the bioavailable pollutant concentrations, to determine the toxicity of PAHs, heavy metals, and non-ionic ammonia in river sediments and sediment porewater. We found that non-ionic ammonia was the main source of toxicity for Daphnia magna, and that Cr and zinc were toxic for Pseudokirchneriella subcapitata and Chironomus dilutus. By combining various indexes, we identified the main contributors to the toxicity in sediments collected from rivers affected by multiple pollutants.