Sediment Metals Toxicity and Excess Simultaneously Extracted Metals Database


The sediment metals toxicity and excess simultaneously extracted metals (SEM) database is composed of data that can be used to test and/or refine the 2005 US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) sediment guidelines based on equilibrium partitioning (EPA 2005).
The current version of the database (v1.1) includes data from studies using field-collected, freshwater and marine sediment that reported data for acid volatile sulfide (AVS), total organic carbon (TOC), SEM, and infaunal or epifaunal invertebrate bioassay tests for mortality/survival. The database does not include data from studies that used spiked sediments. Most of the data are from studies at mining sites or other locations downstream of known sources of metals. Organic contaminants were either unknown or not suspected as the primary source of toxicity (when observed) in these studies. Additional details are documented in the “notes” tab of the database download.


Every effort has been made to accurately extract and report data from the published sources. Nevertheless, inadvertent errors in data reporting might have occurred. Best professional judgement was sometimes needed to interpret information about methods and results. Although the data are believed to be reliable, no warranty is made regarding the accuracy, adequacy, completeness, or usefulness of the information in this database.


Download Metals Toxicity Database

Contact Information

For questions or comments relating to the database, or if you have suggestions for data to add to the database, please contact John Toll at or 206.812.5433.

Recommended Citation

Windward. 2021. Sediment metals toxicity and excess SEM database (v1.1). Windward Environmental LLC, Seattle, WA.


EPA. 2005. Procedures for the derivation of equilibrium partitioning sediment benchmarks (ESBs) for the protection of benthic organisms: metal mixtures (cadmium, copper, lead, nickel, silver and zinc. EPA/600/R-02-011. Office of Research and Development, US Environmental Protection Agency, Washington, DC.