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Incorporating availability/bioavailability in risk assessment and decision making of polluted sites, using Germany as an example

: Kördel, Werner; Bernhardt, Cornelia; Derz, Kerstin; Hund-Rinke, Kerstin; Harmsen, Joop; Peijnenburg, Willie; Comans, Rob; Terytze, Konstantin


Journal of hazardous materials 261 (2013), pp.854-862
ISSN: 0304-3894
ISSN: 1873-3336
Journal Article
Fraunhofer IME ()
availability; bioavailability; extraction procedure; contaminated sites; site assessment

Nearly all publications dealing with availability or bioavailability of soil pollutants start with the following statement: the determination of total pollutant content will lead to an over-estimation of risk. However, an assessment of contaminated sites should be based on the determination of mobile fractions of pollutants, and the fractions with potential for mobilisation that threaten groundwater and surface water, and the actual and potential fractions available for uptake by plants, soil microflora and soil organisms. After reviewing the literature for method proposals concerning the determination of available/bioavailable fractions of contaminants with respect to leaching, plants, microorganisms (biodegradation) and soil organisms, we propose a testing and assessment scheme for contaminated sites. The proposal includes (i) already accepted and used methods, (ii) methods which are under standardisation, and (iii) methods for which development has just started in order to promote urgently needed research.