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Integrated hazard, risk and impact assessment of tropical marine sediments from Tema Harbour (Ghana)

Botwe, Benjamin O., De Schamphelaere, Kristine, Schipper, Cor A., Teuchies, Johannes, Blust, Ronny, Nyarko, Elvis, Lens, Piet N.L.
Chemosphere 2017
Echinochloa, arsenic, bioassays, cadmium, chromium, copper, dredged materials, invertebrates, lead, marine sediments, mortality, nickel, remediation, risk, sediment contamination, toxicity, zinc, Ghana
The potential ecological hazard, risk and impact of tropical marine sediments from the Tema Harbour (Greater Accra, Ghana) was investigated by integrating Corophium volutator and Hediste diversicolor whole-sediment toxicity bioassays with data on the metals (Cd, Pb, Cr, Ni, Cu, Zn and As) concentrations of the sediments. The whole-sediment toxicity bioassay results showed that sediments of the Tema Harbour are potentially hazardous to marine benthic invertebrates. C. volutator exhibited a higher vulnerability to the sediment toxicity than H. diversicolor, although the latter showed higher biota-sediment accumulation factors for the investigated metals. Statistically significant correlations were observed between C. volutator mortality and sediment Cd concentration (r = 0.84, p < 0.05; n = 6) and between H. diversicolor mortality and sediment Cu concentration (r = 0.94, p < 0.05; n = 5). Comparison of metal concentrations with international action levels for contaminated sediment disposal indicates that the Tema Harbour sediments contain potentially hazardous concentrations of Cu and Zn. This study shows that sediments from the Tema Harbour are not suitable for disposal at sea without remediation. There is, therefore, a need to improve environmental management and regulate the disposal of dredged material originating from the Tema Harbour.