Benthic invertebrates can uptake metals through diffusion of free ion solutes, or ingestion of sediment-bound forms. This study investigated the efficacy of the metal chelating resin SIR 300™ in adsorbing porewater metals and isolating pathways of metal exposure. A field experiment (Botany Bay, Sydney, Australia) and a laboratory toxicity test each manipulated the availability of porewater metals within contaminated and uncontaminated sediments. It was predicted that within contaminated sediments, the resin would adsorb porewater metals and reduce toxicity to invertebrates, but in uncontaminated sediments, the resin would not significantly affect these variables. Whereas in the laboratory, the resin produced the predicted results, in the field the resin increased porewater metal concentrations of contaminated sediments for at least 34 days and decreased abundances of four macroinvertebrate groups, and richness in all sediments. These contrasting findings highlight the limits of extrapolating the results of laboratory experiments to the field environment.