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Sediment Quality Assessment and Management: Insight and Progress Edited by M. Munawar© 2003 Ecovision World Monograph Series Aquatic Ecosystem Health & Management Society Field test of ammunition (TNT) dumping in the ocean Göran Dave Department of Applied Environmental Science, University of Göteborg, Box 464, 405 30 Göteborg, Sweden. Keywords: Sweden, marine area, sediment bioassay, Daphnia, Hyalella, Nitocra spinipes, toxicity Introduction Military ammunition has been dumped in both freshwater and seawater, but the fate and the effects of this dumping so far are unknown. Ocean dumping has often been made at considerable depth, and it has been difficult to locate the material and to study the fate and possible effects of the chemicals that may leach from the ammunition. Previous studies on dumped ammunition have mainly dealt with chemical ammunition, i.e. warfare agents like mustard gas, tabun, sarin etc. (HELCOM, 1996), and only a few studies (Dave et al., 2000; Green et al., 1999) have dealt with the toxicity of explosives and other ingredients of conventional ammunition to marine organisms. Trinitrotoluene (TNT) is a major explosive in dumped ammunition. Its fate and effects have mainly been studied in soil and freshwater systems (Griest et al., 1993; Putnam et al., 1981; Rubidoux et al., 2000; Talmadge et al., 1999). The toxicity of TNT added to a sediment-water system at a laboratory scale has also been studied in order to determine disappearance rates for toxicity and parent TNT in water (Dave and Nilsson, 2000). The aim of the present study was to determine the fate and effects of TNT from dumped ammunition. So far no dumped ammunition has been recovered from marine dumping areas. Therefore, the effect of experimental dumping of TNT in an A.A. (Anti Aircraft) defence shell was studied in a marine sediment-water system in situ. So far the fate and effects have been studied for one year. 214 Materials and methods TwoA.A. defence shells made from cast iron and containing TNT (trinitrotoluene) were cleaved longitudinally to expose the explosive, and the halves were weighed to the nearest 0.1 g. Each half shell was placed in an open box (length 55 cm, width 35 cm, depth 20 cm) filled half ways (ca 10 cm) with sediment collected from the experimental site and the boxes were placed at the bottom at a water depth of about 15 m (12.0-17.3 m). The four boxes (called 5, 6, 7 and 8) were inspected after 0 (start), 3 and 14 months when the boxes were brought to the surface, and sediment samples were taken from each replicate (box). Scuba divers from the military armed forces assisted in the fieldwork (Fig. 1), and site reference sediment samples were taken by scuba divers about 2 m outside the boxes. Sediment samples were tested for toxicity with bioassays using Daphnia magna (3 and 14 months), Hyalella azteca (3 and 14 months) and Nitocra spinipes (0, 3 and 14 months) as described elsewhere (Dave et al., 2000). The overlying water on the sediments taken after 14 months were also analysed spectrophotometrically for TNT according to procedures slightly modified from Jenkins et al. (1995) and Crockett et al. (1996). Results At the first inspection (after 3 m), no leaching of TNT was detected visually, chemically or toxicologically. The shells appeared intact, but a weak change in colour of the TNT surface from yellow to pink was seen, indicating some photo transformation. At the second inspection (after 14 m) no major difference from the condition after 3 months was noticed, and the TNT surface was still intact and without any major organisms attached to it. There is no oxygen deficiency at this site, and the bioassay conditions (with shallow water in dishes) is known to eliminate problems with oxygen deficiency. The overall results from the bioassays with sediments taken from all 4 boxes are summarised in Table 1. The results for Nitocra and Hyalella demonstrated dose-response relationships between the added amount of sediment (2, 4, 8, 16 and 32% wet weight) and recorded mortality after 96 h exposure, but the evaluation of the effect of the A.A. defence shells and the possible leaching of TNT was complicated by the toxicity present at start of the experiment (0 months). The analysis of variances (ANOVAs) did not detect any significant effect of time (0, 3 and 14 months) on the responses in the bioassays. The responses in the tests with Nitocra spinipes and Hyalella azteca...


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