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Environmental science & technology

Solid-phase microextraction to predict bioavailability and accumulation of organic micropollutants in terrestrial organisms after exposure to a field-contaminated soil.


PMID 15487794

Abstract

The risk posed by soil contaminants strongly depends on their bioavailability. In this study, a partition-based sampling method was applied as a tool to estimate bioavailability in soil. The accumulation of organic micropollutants was measured in two earthworm species (Eisenia andrei and Aporrectodea caliginosa) and in 30-microm poly(dimethylsiloxane) (PDMS)-coated solid-phase micro extraction (SPME) fibers after exposure to two field-contaminated soils. Within 10 days, steady state in earthworms was reached, and within 20 days in the SPME fibers. Steady-state concentrations in both earthworm species were linearly related to concentrations in fibers over a 10,000-fold range of concentrations. Measured concentrations in earthworms were compared to levels calculated via equilibrium partitioning theory and total concentrations of contaminants in soil. In addition, freely dissolved concentrations of contaminants in pore water, derived from SPME measurements, were used to calculate concentrations in earthworms. Measured concentrations in earthworms were close to estimated concentrations from the SPME fiber measurements. Freely dissolved concentrations of contaminants in pore water, derived from SPME measurements, were used to calculate bioconcentration factors (BCF) in earthworms. A plot of log BCFs against the octanol-water partition coefficient (log Kow) was linear up to a log Kow of 8. These results show that measuring concentrations of hydrophobic chemicals in a PDMS-coated fiber represents a simple tool to estimate internal concentrations of chemicals in biota exposed to soil.