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Terrestrial ecotoxicity of eight chemicals in a systematic approach

: Hund-Rinke, K.; Simon, M.


Journal of soils and sediments 5 (2005), No.1, pp.59-65
ISSN: 1439-0108
Journal Article
Fraunhofer IME ()
soil property; terrestrial ecotoxicity; benzo(a)pyrene; CdCl2; pentachlorophenol; trinitrotoluene

Background and Objective. Terrestrial ecotoxicity data are required for many research purposes. The data are derived either from the literature or elaborated by own investigations. As the terrestrial toxicity tests are usually time-consuming and labour intensive, the experiments are performed with a limited number of test organisms and soils. In the context of a project sponsored by CEFIC-LRI (European Chemical Industry Council – Long-Range Research Initiative), EC50-values were systematically elaborated for eight chemicals with a wide range of logKow-values (CdCl2, Trinitrotoluene, 3,4-dichloroaniline, 2,4-dichlorophenol, Tributyltinchloride, Pentachlorophenol, Benzo(a)pyrene, p,p-dichloro-2,2-diphenyl-1,1,1-trichloroethane). The substances were selected covering a broad range of physico-chemical and ecotoxicological properties. As toxicity endpoints, microbial activities, plant germination and growth as well as reproduction of earthworms and collembola were determined. As such systematic investigations are rarely performed and for some substances no data existed, the data pool is made available to the scientific community.
Methods. All toxicity tests were conducted on three different soil types (sandy soil, silty soil, loamy soil), according to ISO and OECD guidelines.
Results, Discussion, Conclusion and Outlook. The different toxicities of the chemicals, the influence of soil properties on bioavailability as well as different sensitivities of test organisms and test parameters are reflected by the EC50-values. The results showed that the EC50-values calculated on the basis of nominal concentrations can significantly vary from EC50-values derived from analytical concentrations for some substances. To avoid false conclusions, this has to be considered especially when concentrations determined in the field are compared with toxicity data obtained from the literature or calculated on the basis of nominal concentrations. Moreover, the results indicate that terrestrial ecotoxicological tests should be accompanied by chemical analyses, to be sure to derive sound EC50-values.
As the tests were performed according to international guidelines, the comprehensive data pool relevant for the terrestrial ecotoxicity of eight chemicals is considered to be of great value for further research and discussions dealing with the habitat function of soils.