US Army Corps of Engineers
Engineer Research and Development Center

Biota-Sediment Accumulation Factor (BSAF) Database

Provides Data for Evaluating Suitability of Dredged Sediment for Ocean Site Disposal

Published July 8, 2016
The ERDC-EL Biota-Sediment Accumulation Factor database website home page (https://bsaf.el.erdc.dren.mil/) allows users to search BSAF data by chemical and species.  BSAF references may also be searched and viewed for data.

The ERDC-EL Biota-Sediment Accumulation Factor database website home page (https://bsaf.el.erdc.dren.mil/) allows users to search BSAF data by chemical and species. BSAF references may also be searched and viewed for data.

The BSAF database (https://bsaf.el.erdc.dren.mil/) is a collection of biota-sediment accumulation factor data obtained from peer-reviewed literature and reports.  The database was developed by researchers at the U.S. Army Engineer Research and Development Center (ERDC) Environmental Laboratory (EL) through support provided by the Dredging Operations Technical Support program.  The BSAF database is accessible via a public website where users can build simple queries to view and download data.  BSAF data is commonly used by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (USACE) in evaluating suitability of dredged sediments for disposal at ocean sites.

Problem

Prior to disposing of dredged sediment in ocean waters, the sediment must be evaluated to determine whether contaminants are present and whether the contaminant level may adversely impact the ecosystem at the ocean site.  The USACE has used bioaccumulation tests since the 1970s to make regulatory decisions regarding the management of dredged sediment.  The USACE strives to protect human health and the environment by accurately identifying persistent, bioaccumulative, toxic substances and restricting disposal of these sediments at ocean sites.  To help interpret data from these bioaccumulation tests, the USACE uses published BSAF data.  To meet the USACE need for this data, the BSAF database was developed in the 1990s as a centralized repository of BSAF data obtained from peer-reviewed literature and reports. 

Technology

The BSAF is the ratio of the contaminant concentration in tissue to the contaminant concentration in sediment.  The database is a compilation of BSAF data, providing information on ratios between aquatic species and hydrophobic organic chemicals and organotin compounds.  The source of data is primarily the peer-reviewed literature and reports submitted by U.S. government agencies.  The database is updated annually with new records and is accessible via a public website.  The website contains dropdown boxes and data tables for parameter searching and downloading.  Data can be queried by chemical name, CAS registry number, chemical class, and species name and class.

Benefit

The BSAF database is an organized collection of information that can easily be accessed, managed, and updated.  The data are useful for comparing measured tissue concentrations from a bioaccumulation testsuch as those performed to evaluate dredged sedimentto published information that describes the ratio between the chemical concentrations in the organism’s tissue to concentration in the sediment. 

Specifications/System Requirements

The database is accessible to anyone with a browser (such as Firefox, Google Chrome, or Windows Explorer).

Status

As of January 2016, the BSAF database contains more than 7,000 test records, summarizing data for over 200 aquatic species and over 400 chemicals.  The database is updated annually with new records.  To access the database, visit https://bsaf.el.erdc.dren.mil/.

ERDC Points of Contact

Questions about the BASF database?
Contact: Justin Wilkens
Email: Justin.L.Wilkens@usace.army.mil
Phone: 601-634-2421