Home > Explore Data & Reports > A Baseline Chemical Contaminants Assessment of Sediment from the Nu’uuli Pala Lagoon, American Samoa


Mason, A.L., and D.R. Whitall. 2019. A Baseline Chemical Contaminants Assessment of Sediment from the Nu’uuli Pala Lagoon, American Samoa. NOAA Technical Memorandum NOS NCCOS 267. Silver Spring, MD. 35 pp. doi:10.25923/3sqf-vh06

Data/Report Type:

NOAA Technical Memorandum


Thirteen marine sediment samples were collected as part of an effort to characterize and assess chemical contamination in the Nu’uuli Pala Lagoon on the island of Tutuila, American Samoa. Overall, concentrations of organic contaminants in sediment from the Nu’uuli Pala Lagoon are low as compared to other studies conducted by NOAA’s National Status and Trends (NS&T) Program, and are similar to those measured in the nearby Faga’alu watershed and bay. The only organic contaminants measured in the Pala Lagoon that exceeded any known guidelines or thresholds was for total DDT, and then only the Effects Range Low. PBDEs in the Pala Lagoon also appear to be elevated as compared to other relatively lower population coastal US areas. The concentrations of trace and major elements had a number of exceedances of established guidelines, including arsenic, chromium, copper, nickel, and zinc. Nickel was the only metal that exceeded both the ERL and ERM, pointing towards likely adverse impacts to the Pala Lagoon.

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