May 8, 2023

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Geosyntec Practitioners Coauthored Paper on Peeper Passive Sampling Approaches

Jason Conder, PhD (California), Haley Schneider, PhD (California), Ilektra Drygiannaki, PhD (Illinois), and Florent Risacher (Ontario) coauthored a paper titled “A Review of Peeper Passive Sampling Approaches to Measure the Availability of Inorganics in Sediment Porewater” that will be published in the journal, Environmental Pollution Volume 328 on July 1, 2023, and is currently available online.

In addition to Geosyntec staff, the paper was coauthored by Brent G. Pautler of SiREM and W. Andrew Jackson of Texas Tech University.

Jason is a Principal Scientist with more than 15 years of research and consulting experience in environmental toxicology, environmental monitoring technology, ecological and human health risk assessment, contaminated sediment assessment and management, and bioaccumulation and bioavailability of environmental contaminants.

Haley is a Senior Staff Engineer focused developing an innovative passive groundwater sampling technology in conjunction with evaluating existing profiling tools for the delineation of microbial communities, biogeochemical conditions, chlorinated volatile organic compounds concentrations, and groundwater velocity in shallow aquifers.

Ilektra is a Senior Staff Professional with expertise in the assessment and management of contaminated sediments, management of stormwater discharges, and contaminant source investigation, as well as the assessment of stormwater impacts on sediment recontamination.

Florent is a Geochemist with a focus on focus on sediment inorganic geochemistry, mine water remediation, and limnology.

Environmental Pollution is an international peer-reviewed journal that publishes research papers and review articles about all aspects of environmental pollution and its effects on ecosystems and human health. The journal welcomes process-oriented and hypothesis-based submissions that report results from original and novel research and contribute new knowledge to help address problems related to environmental pollution at a regional or global scale.

Sediment porewater dialysis passive samplers, also known as “peepers,” are inert containers with a small volume of water (usually 1–100 mL) capped with a semipermeable membrane. When exposed to sediment over a period of days to weeks, chemicals (typically inorganics) in sediment porewater diffuse through the membrane into the water. Subsequent analysis of chemicals in the peeper water sample can provide a value that represents the concentrations of freely dissolved chemicals in sediment, a useful measurement for understanding fate and risk. Despite more than 45 years of peeper uses in peer-reviewed research, there are no standardized methods available, which limits the application of peepers for more routine regulatory-driven decision-making at sediment sites. In hopes of taking a step towards standardizing peeper methods for measuring inorganics in sediment porewater, over 85 research documents on peepers were reviewed to identify example applications, key methodological aspects, and potential uncertainties. The review found that peepers could be improved by optimizing volume and membrane geometry to decrease the necessary deployment time, decrease detection limits, and provide sufficient sample volumes needed for commercial analytical laboratories using standardized analytical methods. Several methodological uncertainties related to the potential impact of oxygen presence in peeper water prior to deployment and oxygen accumulation in peepers after retrieval from sediment were noted, especially for redox-sensitive metals. Additional areas that need further development include establishing the impact of deionized water in peeper cells when used in marine sediment and use of pre-equilibration sampling methods with reverse tracers allowing shorter deployment periods. Overall, it is expected that highlighting these technical aspects and research needs will encourage work to address critical methodological challenges, aiding in the standardization of peeper methods for measuring porewater concentrations at contaminated regulatory-driven sediment sites.

More Information

Learn more about the article: https://doi.org/10.1016/j.envpol.2023.121581
Learn more about the organization: Environmental Pollution | Journal
For consultation regarding sediment sampling, contact Jason at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it., Haley at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it., or Ilektra a This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..
Learn more about Jason at Jason Conder | LinkedIn
Learn more about Haley at Haley Schneider, PhD, EIT | LinkedIn
Learn more about Ilektra at Ilektra Drygiannaki, PhD | LinkedIn
Learn more about Florent at Florent Risacher | LinkedIn