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Lazarov B.,Flemish Institute for Technological Research | Swinnen R.,Flemish Institute for Technological Research | Spruyt M.,Flemish Institute for Technological Research | Goelen E.,Flemish Institute for Technological Research | And 3 more authors.
Atmospheric Environment

This work describes optimisation steps of an innovative method for the measurement several groups of semi-volatile organic compounds (SVOCs) in air, collecting both gaseous and particulate air fractions. It is based on active air sampling on sorption tubes (consisting of polydimethylsiloxane (PDMS) and Tenax TA), followed by thermal desorption and gas chromatography mass spectrometry analysis (TD-GC-MS). The optimised method was validated in the laboratory for the measurement of selected target compounds from the following chemical classes: polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs), polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs), polybrominated diphenyl ethers (PBDEs) and phthalate esters (PEs). It was applied in different Belgian urban outdoor as well as indoor environments. The new method is characterised by limits of detection in the range of 0.003-0.3ngm-3 for PAHs, 0.004-0.2ngm-3 for PCBs, 0.113-0.201ngm-3 for PBDEs and 0.002-0.2ngm-3 for PEs, a linearity of 0.996 and a repeatability of less than 10% for all studied compounds. © 2013 . Source

De Cooman W.,Flemish Environmental Agency VMM | Blaise C.,Environment Canada | Janssen C.,Ghent University | Detemmerman L.,Flemish Environmental Agency VMM | And 3 more authors.
Knowledge and Management of Aquatic Ecosystems

The review first details the development of the test procedures with Hyalella azteca which historically emerged as one of the recommended test species for whole-sediment assays and its gradual standardization and endorsement by national and international organizations. The sensitivity and precision of the H. azteca test for application on chemicals and on real world sediments is discussed. The review subsequently addresses the development of the whole sediment microbiotest with the ostracod crustacean Heterocypris incongruens with larvae of this test species hatched from dormant eggs (cysts), rendering this assay stock culture/maintenance free. The application of the 6-day ostracod microbiotest on sediments in Canada and in Belgium is discussed, as well as its endorsement by the ISO subsequent to an extensive international interlaboratory ring test. The sensitivity of the amphipod and ostracod tests is compared by data from studies in which both assays were applied in parallel. A comparison of more than 1000 ostracod/amphipod data pairs of a 12-year river sediment monitoring study in Flanders/Belgium confirmed that both whole-sediment assays have a similar sensitivity and that the 6-day ostracod microbiotest is a valuable and cost-effective alternative to the 10-14 day amphipod test for evaluation of the toxic hazard of polluted sediments. © W. De Cooman et al., published by EDP Sciences, 2015. Source

Ferket B.,Antea Group | Van De Broek M.,Catholic University of Leuven | Van Hoestenberghe T.,Antea Group | Degerickx J.,Catholic University of Leuven | And 4 more authors.
IAHS-AISH Proceedings and Reports

Antea Group and KULeuven were awarded a project in Flanders to identify the regions exporting high sediment loads to unnavigable watercourses and the sedimentation zones within them. Two types of models are applied: hydrological sediment export models (SEM) and hydraulic sediment transport models (STM). The influence of erosion control measures on sediment export as well as river engineering measures needs to be taken into account. A concept will be developed to connect the SEM and STM, enabling the sediment to be routed from upstream to the sedimentation zones. Results of the study will be used by the Flemish government to plan erosion control measures, estimate future sedimentation volumes, steer sedimentation and optimize river engineering and dredging works. Finally, model results could also be used to obtain better insights to the re-suspension risks of contaminated sediment in watercourses. Copyright © 2014 IAHS Press. Source

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