Get access

Triclocarban, triclosan, polybrominated diphenyl ethers, and 4-nonylphenol in biosolids and in soil receiving 33-year biosolids application

Authors

  • Kang Xia,

    Corresponding author
    1. Mississippi State Chemical Laboratory, Department of Chemistry, P.O. Box CR, Mississippi State, Mississippi 39762, USA
    • Mississippi State Chemical Laboratory, Department of Chemistry, P.O. Box CR, Mississippi State, Mississippi 39762, USA.
    Search for more papers by this author
  • Lakhwinder S. Hundal,

    1. Metropolitan Water Reclamation District of Greater Chicago, 6001 W. Pershing Road, R&D Department, Section 123, Cicero, Illinois 60804-4112, USA
    Search for more papers by this author
  • Kuldip Kumar,

    1. Metropolitan Water Reclamation District of Greater Chicago, 6001 W. Pershing Road, R&D Department, Section 123, Cicero, Illinois 60804-4112, USA
    Search for more papers by this author
  • Kevin Armbrust,

    1. Mississippi State Chemical Laboratory, Department of Chemistry, P.O. Box CR, Mississippi State, Mississippi 39762, USA
    Search for more papers by this author
  • Albert E. Cox,

    1. Metropolitan Water Reclamation District of Greater Chicago, 6001 W. Pershing Road, R&D Department, Section 123, Cicero, Illinois 60804-4112, USA
    Search for more papers by this author
  • Thomas C. Granato

    1. Metropolitan Water Reclamation District of Greater Chicago, 6001 W. Pershing Road, R&D Department, Section 123, Cicero, Illinois 60804-4112, USA
    Search for more papers by this author

Abstract

Land application of biosolids is a common practice throughout the world. However, concerns continue to be raised about the safety of this practice, because biosolids may contain trace levels of organic contaminants. The present study evaluated the levels of triclocarban (TCC), triclosan (TCS), 4-nonylphenol (4-NP), and polybrominated diphenyl ethers (PBDEs) in biosolids from 16 wastewater treatment plants and in soils from field plots receiving annual applications of biosolids for 33 years. All of the four contaminants evaluated were detected in most of the biosolids at concentrations ranging from hundreds of µg/kg to over 1,000 mg/kg (dry wt basis). They were detected at µg/kg levels in the biosolids-amended soil, but their concentrations decreased sharply with increasing soil depth for 4-NP, PBDEs, and TCC, indicating limited soil leaching of those compounds. However, potential leaching of TCS in the biosolids-amended soils was observed. The levels of all four compounds in the surface soil increased with increasing biosolids application rate. Compared with the estimated 33-year cumulative input to the soil during the 33-year consecutive biosolids application, most of the PBDEs and a small percentage of 4-NP, TCC, and TCS remained in the top 120-cm soil layer. These observations suggest slow degradation of PBDEs but rapid transformation of 4-NP, TCC, and TCS in the biosolids-amended soils. Environ. Toxicol. Chem. 2010;29:597–605. © 2009 SETAC

Ancillary