Assessment of phenanthrene bioavailability in aged and unaged soils by mild extraction
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It has become apparent that the threat of an organic pollutant in soil is directly related to its bioavailable fraction and that the use of total contaminant concentrations as a measure of potential contaminant exposure to plants or soil organisms is inappropriate. In light of this, non-exhaustive extraction techniques are being investigated to assess their appropriateness in determining bioavailability. To find a suitable and rapid extraction method to predict phenanthrene bioavailability, multiple extraction techniques (i.e., mild hydroxypropyl-β-cyclodextrin (HPCD) and organic solvents extraction) were investigated in soil spiked to a range of phenanthrene levels (i.e., 1.12, 8.52, 73, 136, and 335 μg g − 1 dry soil). The bioaccumulation of phenanthrene in earthworm (Eisenia fetida) was used as the reference system for bioavailability. Correlation results for phenanthrene suggested that mild HPCD extraction was a better method to predict bioavailability of phenanthrene in soil compared with organic solvents extraction. Aged (i.e., 150 days) and fresh (i.e., 0 day) soil samples were used to evaluate the extraction efficiency and the effect of soil contact time on the availability of phenanthrene. The percentage of phenanthrene accumulated by earthworms and percent recoveries by mild extractants changed significantly with aging time. Thus, aging significantly reduced the earthworm uptake and chemical extractability of phenanthrene. In general, among organic extractants, methanol showed recoveries comparable to those of mild HPCD for both aged and unaged soil matrices. Hence, this extractant can be suitable after HPCD to evaluate risk of contaminated soils.
KeywordsAccumulation Aging Bioavailability HPCD Mild extraction PAHs
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