Domene X., Alcañiz J.M., Andrés P. (2008) Comparison of solid-phase and eluate assays to gauge the ecotoxicological risk of organic wastes on soil organisms. Environmental Pollution. 151: 549-558.EnlaceDoi: 10.1016/j.envpol.2007.04.007
Development of methodologies to assess the safety of reusing polluted organic wastes in soil is a priority in Europe. In this study, and coupled with chemical analysis, seven organic wastes were subjected to different aquatic and soil bioassays. Tests were carried out with solid-phase waste and three different waste eluates (water, methanol, and dichloromethane). Solid-phase assays were indicated as the most suitable for waste testing not only in terms of relevance for real situations, but also because toxicity in eluates was generally not representative of the chronic effects in solid-phase. No general correlations were found between toxicity and waste pollutant burden, neither in solid-phase nor in eluate assays, showing the inability of chemical methods to predict the ecotoxicological risks of wastes. On the contrary, several physicochemical parameters reflecting the degree of low organic matter stability in wastes were the main contributors to the acute toxicity seen in collembolans and daphnids. © 2007 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.
Domene X., Ramírez W., Mattana S., Alcañiz J.M., Andrés P. (2008) Ecological risk assessment of organic waste amendments using the species sensitivity distribution from a soil organisms test battery. Environmental Pollution. 155: 227-236.EnlaceDoi: 10.1016/j.envpol.2007.12.001
Safe amendment rates (the predicted no-effect concentration or PNEC) of seven organic wastes were estimated from the species sensitivity distribution of a battery of soil biota tests and compared with different realistic amendment scenarios (different predicted environmental concentrations or PEC). None of the wastes was expected to exert noxious effects on soil biota if applied according either to the usual maximum amendment rates in Europe or phosphorus demands of crops (below 2 tonnes DM ha-1). However, some of the wastes might be problematic if applied according to nitrogen demands of crops (above 2 tonnes DM ha-1). Ammonium content and organic matter stability of the studied wastes are the most influential determinants of the maximum amendment rates derived in this study, but not pollutant burden. This finding indicates the need to stabilize wastes prior to their reuse in soils in order to avoid short-term impacts on soil communities. © 2007 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.
Ramírez W.A., Domene X., Andrés P., Alcañiz J.M. (2008) Phytotoxic effects of sewage sludge extracts on the germination of three plant species. Ecotoxicology. 17: 834-844.EnlaceDoi: 10.1007/s10646-008-0246-5
In order to evaluate the ability of three types of extracts to explain the ecotoxicological risk of treated municipal sewage sludges, the OECD 208A germination test was applied using three plants (Lolium perenne L., Brassica rapa L., and Trifolium pratense L.). Three equivalent batches of sludge, remained as dewatered sludge, composted with plant remains and thermally dried, from an anaerobic waste water treatment plant were separated. Samples from these three batches were extracted in water, methanol, and dichloromethane. Plant bioassays were performed and the Germination Index (GI) for the three plants was evaluated once after a period of 10 days. Germination in extracts was always lower than the respective controls. The germination in composted sludge (GI 40.9-86.2) was higher than the dewatered (GI 2.9-45.8), or thermally dried sludges (GI 24.6-64.4). A comparison of the germination between types of extracts showed differences for dewatered sludge with the three plants, where the water and methanol extracts had significantly lower germination than the dichloromethane extract. A higher half maximal effective concentration (EC50) in composted extracts was established, mainly in the water extract (EC 50 431-490 g kg-1). On the contrary, the germination was strongly inhibited in the water extract of the dewatered sludge (EC50 14 g kg-1). The germination was positively correlated with the degree of organic matter stability of the parent sludge, and an inverse correlation was detected for total nitrogen, hydrolysable nitrogen and ammonium content. It is concluded that the phytotoxic effect of the water extract is more closely related to hydrophilic substances rather than lipophilic ones, and care must be taken with dewatered sludge application, especially with their aqueous eluates. Results obtained in this work show the suitability of the use of sludge extracts in ecotoxic assays and emphasize the relevance of sewage sludge stabilization by post-treatment processes. © 2008 Springer Science+Business Media, LLC.
Ramírez W.A., Domene X., Ortiz O., Alcañiz J.M. (2008) Toxic effects of digested, composted and thermally-dried sewage sludge on three plants. Bioresource Technology. 99: 7168-7175.EnlaceDoi: 10.1016/j.biortech.2007.12.072
In order to evaluate potential toxic effects of stabilized sewage sludge that are currently applied to agricultural soils, three types of municipal sewage sludge and one pig slurry were subjected to phytotoxicity assays using three plants (Brassica rapa, Lolium perenne and Trifolium pratense). Equivalent batches of aerobically and anaerobically-digested sludge (F) from two municipal wastewater treatment plants, were composted (C) or thermally dried (T). In addition, one anaerobically-digested and thermally-dried pig slurry (P) was tested. A seedling growth test was performed in accordance with the OECD Guideline 208A, using seed emergence and shoot length as endpoints to identify the inhibition of plants growing in increasing doses of sludge. A correlation analysis between EC50 and physico-chemical parameters or the pollutant burden of the biosolids was also calculated. In all tests, lower germination rates were observed for T. pratense than for L. perenne and B. rapa. A moderate stimulatory effect on shoot length at low doses was observed for the three plants. In these wastes, a strong positive correlation was found between higher values of EC50 (less toxicity) and the stability degree of their organic matter, and a negative correlation between EC50 and total N, hydrolysable N or NH4-N content. No correlations were found with heavy metal or organic pollutant content in those wastes. Results indicate that digested sludge, thermally-dried sludge and thermally-dried pig slurry have non-negligible short term phytotoxic effects, and confirm that composting is an effective sludge treatment for the reduction of phytotoxicity. © 2008 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.
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