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Journal of agricultural and food chemistry

Uptake of galaxolide, tonalide, and triclosan by carrot, barley, and meadow fescue plants.


PMID 22813076

Abstract

Many xenobiotics entering wastewater treatment plants are known to be persistent during wastewater treatment and tend to adsorb to sewage sludge. The application of sewage sludge as fertilizer in agriculture may pose the risk of an incorporation of xenobiotics in the cultivated plants and, finally, an inclusion into the food chain. This study was performed to investigate the uptake of common sewage sludge contaminants, galaxolide, tonalide, and triclosan, by plants used for human consumption and livestock feeding. Barley, meadow fescue, and four carrot cultivars were sown and grown in spiked soils under greenhouse conditions. After harvesting the plants, roots and leaves were analyzed separately, and the respective bioconcentration factors were calculated. In carrots, a concentration gradient of the xenobiotics became evident that decreased from the root peel via root core to the leaves. A significant influence of the differing root lipid contents on the uptake rates cannot be supported by our data, but the crucial influence of soil organic carbon content was confirmed. Barley and meadow fescue roots incorporated higher amounts of the target substances than carrots, but translocation into the leaves was negligible. The results indicated that an introduction of persistent semi- and nonpolar xenobiotics into the food chain via edible plants like carrots could be of certain relevance when sludge is applied as fertilizer. Due to low rates found for the translocation of the xenobiotics into the aerial plant parts, the entrance pathway into food products via feeding livestock is less probable.