Publication details

Ecotoxicity of arsenic contaminated sludge after mixing with soils and addition into composting and vermicomposting processes

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Year of publication 2016
Type Article in Periodical
Magazine / Source Journal of Hazardous Materials
MU Faculty or unit

Faculty of Science

Field Environment influence on health
Keywords Sludge; Arsenic; Ecotoxicity; Bioavailability; (Vermi)composting
Description Sludge coming from remediation of groundwater contaminated by industry is usually managed as hazardous waste despite it might be considered for further processing as a source of nutrients. The ecotoxicity of phosphorus rich sludge contaminated with arsenic was evaluated after mixing with soil and cultivation with Sinapis alba, and supplementation into composting and vermicomposting processes. The Enchytraeus crypticus and Folsomia candida reproduction tests and the Lactuca sativa root growth test were used. Invertebrate bioassays reacted sensitively to arsenic presence in soil-sludge mixtures. The root elongation of L. sativa was not sensitive and showed variable results. In general, the relationship between invertebrate tests results and arsenic mobile concentration was indicated in majority endpoints. Nevertheless, significant portion of the results still cannot be satisfactorily explained by As chemistry data. Composted and vermicomposted sludge mixtures showed surprisingly high toxicity on all three tested organisms despite the decrease in arsenic mobility, probably due to toxic metabolites of bacteria and earthworms produced during these processes. The results from the study indicated the inability of chemical methods to predict the effects of complex mixtures on living organisms with respect to ecotoxicity bioassays.
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