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We report on a procedure using powdered coconut charcoal to sequester organic contaminants and reduce toxicity in sediments as part of a series of toxicity identification and evaluation (TIE) methods. Powdered coconut charcoal (PCC) was effective in reducing the toxicity of endosulfan-spiked sediments by 100%. Powdered coconut charcoal also was effective in removing almost 100% of the toxicity from two field sediments contaminated with polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs) and polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs). Powdered coconut charcoal did not change the toxicity of ammonia or metal-spiked sediments; however, there was some quantitative reduction in the concentrations of free metals (element specific) in metal-spiked sediments. Powdered coconut charcoal is an effective, relatively specific method to sequester and remove toxicity from sediments contaminated with organic contaminants.


Kay T Ho, Robert M Burgess, Marguerite C Pelletier, Jonathan R Serbst, Howard Cook, Mark G Cantwell, Stephen A Ryba, Monique M Perron, Jon Lebo, James Huckins, Jimmie Petty. Use of powdered coconut charcoal as a toxicity identification and evaluation manipulation for organic toxicants in marine sediments. Environmental toxicology and chemistry / SETAC. 2004 Sep;23(9):2124-31

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PMID: 15378988

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