Determining the reusability of Tenax beads (60–80 mesh) in estimates of bioaccessibility using single-point extractions

Samuel A. Nutile, Yucheng Shao

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1 Scopus citations


Single-point Tenax extractions are a viable means of estimating bioaccessibility of hydrophobic organic contaminants in sediment, soil, and intestinal fluids. One advantage of this extraction technique is that after thorough cleaning and drying, Tenax beads can be reused in subsequent extractions with the assumption that no changes in bioaccessibility estimates will occur. This assumption of reusability, however, has not been tested. Therefore, the objective of the current study was to evaluate the reusability of Tenax beads by comparing bioaccessible polychlorinated biphenyl (PCB) concentrations measured by differently aged Tenax beads. New Tenax beads (60–80 mesh) were aged through 24 h single-point Tenax extractions of clean sand 0, 1, 5, 10, 15, 20, and 25 times. The aged Tenax was then used to extract 27 PCB congeners from laboratory spiked sediment and the bioaccessible PCB concentrations were compared. Despite significant effects of PCB congener (F26, 567 = 97.291, p = 2.00 × 10−16), Tenax age (F6, 567 = 14.735, p = 1.12 × 10−15), and the interaction of these two terms (F156, 567 = 1.711, p = 4.79 × 10−6) on bioaccessible concentrations measured by Tenax, the significance was due to two PCB congeners that showed large variation during analytical quantification. For the remaining 25 congeners, no differences in bioaccessible PCB concentrations were found between differently aged Tenax, suggesting repeated use did not impact bioaccessible estimates provided by Tenax. Scanning electron microscope imaging revealed no significant changes in the visible surface area of the Tenax beads after aging (F6, 203 = 1.434, p = 0.203), suggesting no significant changes in the Tenax phase volume resulting in consistent estimates of bioaccessibility through repeated use. Given the strong correlations between single-point Tenax extractable and tissue concentrations, providing data to detail the reusability of Tenax in repeated extractions further demonstrates the applicability of this extraction technique in risk assessment.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number123734
StatePublished - Dec 1 2022

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Analytical Chemistry


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