## Assessment criteria for contaminants in sediment

### Metals

Two assessment criteria are used to assess the status of metal concentrations: the

• Background Assessment Concentration (BAC)
• Effects Range Low (ERL)

BACs were developed within the Oslo and Paris Commission framework with scientific advice from the International Council for the Exploration of the Sea. Mean concentrations significantly below the BAC are said to be near background.

ERLs were developed by the United States Environmental Protection Agency for assessing the ecological significance of sediment concentrations. Concentrations below the ERL rarely cause adverse effects in marine organisms.

BACs and ERLs are available for the following metals

 BAC ERL Arsenic 25 8.2 Cadmium 0.31 1.2 Chromium 81 81 Copper 27 34 Mercury 0.07 0.15 Nickel 36 21 Lead 38 47 Zinc 122 150

Notes:

• units are mg kg$$^{-1}$$ dw
• BACs are normalised to 5% aluminium
• the ERLs for arsenic and nickel are below the OSPAR Background Concentrations of 15 and 30 mg kg$$^{-1}$$ respectively; arsenic and nickel concentrations are only assessed against the BAC
• the ERL for chromium equals the BAC; nickel concentrations are only assessed against the ERL

### PAHs

Two assessment criteria are used to assess the status of PAH concentrations: the

• Background Assessment Concentration (BAC)
• Effects Range Low (ERL)

BACs were developed within the Oslo and Paris Commission framework with scientific advice from the International Council for the Exploration of the Sea. Mean concentrations significantly below the BAC are said to be near background.

ERLs were developed by the United States Environmental Protection Agency for assessing the ecological significance of sediment concentrations. Concentrations below the ERL rarely cause adverse effects in marine organisms.

BACs and ERLs are available for the following PAHs

 BAC ERL Naphthalene 8 160 Phenanthrene 32 240 Anthracene 5 85 Dibenzothiophene 190 Fluoranthene 39 600 Pyrene 24 665 Benz[a]anthracene 16 261 Chrysene (Triphenylene) 20 384 Benzo[a]pyrene 30 430 Benzo[ghi]perylene 80 Indeno[123-cd]pyrene 103

Notes:

• units are $$\mu$$g kg$$^{-1}$$ dw
• BACs are normalised to 2.5% organic carbon

### Chlorobiphenyls

Two assessment criteria are used to assess the status of chlorobiphenyl concentrations: the

• Background Assessment Concentration (BAC)
• Environmental Assessment Criteria (EAC)

The assessment criteria were developed within the Oslo and Paris Commission framework with scientific advice from the International Council for the Exploration of the Sea. Mean concentrations significantly below the BAC are said to be near background. Concentrations below the EAC should not cause any chronic effects on marine organisms.

BACs and EACs are available for the following chlorobiphenyls

 BAC EAC CB28 0.22 1.7 CB52 0.12 2.7 CB101 0.14 3.0 CB118 0.17 0.6 CB138 0.15 7.9 CB153 0.19 40 CB180 0.10 12

Notes:

• units are $$\mu$$g kg$$^{-1}$$ dw
• BACs are normalised to 2.5% organic carbon

### Organo-bromines

Two assessment criteria are used to assess the status of organo-bromine concentrations: the

• Background Assessment Concentration (BAC)
• Federal Environmental Quality Guideline (FEQG)

BACs were developed within the Oslo and Paris Commission framework with scientific advice from the International Council for the Exploration of the Sea. Mean concentrations significantly below the BAC are said to be near background.

FEQGs were developed under the Canadian Environmental Protection Act, 1999. Concentrations below the FEQG should not cause any chronic effects on marine organisms.

The BACs and FEQGs are currently being used on a trial basis following deliberations at OSPAR MIME 2017 and 2018.

BACs and FEQGs are available for the following organo-bromines

 BAC FEQG BDE28 0.05 110 BDE47 0.05 97.5 BDE66 0.05 97.5 BDE85 0.05 1 BDE99 0.05 1 BD100 0.05 1 BD153 0.05 1100 BD154 0.05 1100 BD183 0.05 14000 BD209 0.05 47.5

Notes:

• units are $$\mu$$g kg$$^{-1}$$ dw
• BACs and FEQGs are normalised to 2.5% organic carbon

### Organo-metals

The Swedish Environmental Quality Standard (EQS) is used to assess the status of TBSN+ concentrations. Concentrations below the EQS should not cause any chronic effects on marine organisms. The EQS is currently being used on a trial basis

 EQS TBSN+ 0.8

Notes:

• units are $$\mu$$g kg$$^{-1}$$ dw
• the EQS is normalised to 2.5% organic carbon
• Background Assessment Concentrations (BACs) have not yet been developed