chapter  5
18 Pages

Fate and Toxicity of Explosives in Sediments

Contamination of soils, sediment, groundwater, and surface water with explosives is associated with military activities at ammunition production sites and military training facilities. At ammunition plants, this contamination occurs mainly as a result of contaminated runoff, efuent from the facilities, liquid waste lagoons, and spills [1]. Major explosive contaminants such as 2,4,6-trinitrotoluene (TNT), 1,3,5-trinitrobenzene (TNB), hexahydro-1,3,5-trinitro-1,3,5-triazine (RDX), octahydro-1,3,5,7-tetranitro-1,3,5,7-tetrazocine (HMX), and 2,4,6-trinitrophenylmethylnitramine (tetryl) and their transformation products have been detected in freshwater sediment samples collected from military installations at concentrations ranging from low (e.g., less than 6.7 mg kg-1) to exceedingly high (up to 711,000 mg kg-1) [1]. Those extremely high concentrations (“hot spots”) are indicative of large amounts of nondissolved and nonsorbed explosives in some contaminated sites. Low concentrations (<3.5 mg kg-1) of 2,6-dinitrotoluene (2,6-DNT), tetryl, and 2,4,6-trinitrophenol (picric acid) were detected in marine sediments near a naval facility in Ostrich Bay, Puget Sound, Washington [2].