Abstract

The chemical and toxicological information given in this short communication is based on two sediment samples of limited amount taken from Lake Baikal. The samples received detailed chemical assessment since information about Lake Baikal sediments is scarce. The sediments were tested for sediment bound toxicity by liquid phase (Microtox) and solid phase (Hyalella) assays. The organic and inorganic chemical analyses were carried out with current technology followed in Canada, which may be useful for comparisons with other aquatic ecosystems. A wide range of organic compounds such as organochlorine pesticides, chlorinated diphenyl ethers, polychlorinated biphenyls, chlorinated dibenzo-p-dioxins and furans, coplanar polychlorinated biphenyls and polyaromatic hydrocarbons comprised the suite of compounds analysed for environmental levels. Generally, the full scan for high-resolution gas chromatography/high-resolution mass spectrometry electron impact analysis showed somewhat similar profiles for both the near-shore and off-shore stations. However, organic analysis indicated the near-shore station to be relatively more contaminated than the off-shore station. These chemical results were not supported by the Microtox and Hyalella bioassay experiments. The bioassays suggested that the near-shore and off-shore sediment samples were non-toxic. The necessity of performing both chemical as well as biological evaluations with a battery of assays is once again emphasized for ecosystem health assessment.

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