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Andersson, Erika
Publications (2 of 2) Show all publications
Andersson, E., Rotander, A., von Kronhelm, T., Berggren, A., Ivarsson, P., Hollert, H. & Engwall, M. (2009). AhR agonist and genotoxicant bioavailability in a PAH-contaminated soil undergoing biological treatment. Environmental science and pollution research international, 16(5), 521-530
Open this publication in new window or tab >>AhR agonist and genotoxicant bioavailability in a PAH-contaminated soil undergoing biological treatment
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2009 (English)In: Environmental science and pollution research international, ISSN 0944-1344, E-ISSN 1614-7499, Vol. 16, no 5, p. 521-530Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

Degradation of the 16 US EPA priority PAHs in soil subjected to bioremediation is often achieved. However, the PAH loss is not always followed by a reduction in soil toxicity. For instance, bioanalytical testing of such soil using the chemical-activated luciferase gene expression (CALUX) assay, measuring the combined effect of all Ah receptor (AhR) activating compounds, occasionally indicates that the loss of PAHs does not correlate with the loss of Ah receptor-active compounds in the soil. In addition, standard PAH analysis does not address the issue of total toxicant bioavailability in bioremediated soil.

To address these questions, we have used the CALUX AhR agonist bioassay and the Comet genotoxicity bioassay with RTL-W1 cells to evaluate the toxic potential of different extracts from a PAH-contaminated soil undergoing large-scale bioremediation. The extracts were also chemically analyzed for PAH16 and PCDD/PCDF. Soil sampled on five occasions between day 0 and day 274 of biological treatment was shaken with n-butanol with vortex mixing at room temperature to determine the bioavailable fraction of contaminants. To establish total concentrations, parts of the same samples were extracted using an accelerated solvent extractor (ASE) with toluene at 100A degrees C. The extracts were tested as inducers of AhR-dependent luciferase activity in the CALUX assay and for DNA breakage potential in the Comet bioassay.

The chemical analysis of the toluene extracts indicated slow degradation rates and the CALUX assay indicated high levels of AhR agonists in the same extracts. Compared to day 0, the bioavailable fractions showed no decrease in AhR agonist activity during the treatment but rather an up-going trend, which was supported by increasing levels of PAHs and an increased effect in the Comet bioassay after 274 days. The bio-TEQs calculated using the CALUX assay were higher than the TEQs calculated from chemical analysis in both extracts, indicating that there are additional toxic PAHs in both extracts that are not included in the chemically derived TEQ.

The response in the CALUX and the Comet bioassays as well as the chemical analysis indicate that the soil might be more toxic to organisms living in soil after 274 days of treatment than in the untreated soil, due to the release of previously sorbed PAHs and possibly also metabolic formation of novel toxicants.

Our results put focus on the issue of slow degradation rates and bioavailability of PAHs during large-scale bioremediation treatments. The release of sorbed PAHs at the investigated PAH-contaminated site seemed to be faster than the degradation rate, which demonstrates the importance of considering the bioavailable fraction of contaminants during a bioremediation process.

It has to be ensured that soft remediation methods like biodegradation or the natural remediation approach do not result in the mobilization of toxic compounds including more mobile degradation products. For PAH-contaminated sites this cannot be assured merely by monitoring the 16 target PAHs. The combined use of a battery of biotests for different types of PAH effects such as the CALUX and the Comet assay together with bioavailability extraction methods may be a useful screening tool of bioremediation processes of PAH-contaminated soil and contribute to a more accurate risk assessment. If the bioremediation causes a release of bound PAHs that are left undegraded in an easily extracted fraction, the soil may be more toxic to organisms living in the soil as a result of the treatment. A prolonged treatment time may be one way to reduce the risk of remaining mobile PAHs. In critical cases, the remediation concept might have to be changed to ex situ remediation methods.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Springer Berlin/Heidelberg, 2009
National Category
Natural Sciences Chemical Sciences Environmental Sciences
Research subject
Environmental Chemistry
urn:nbn:se:oru:diva-6870 (URN)10.1007/s11356-009-0121-9 (DOI)000267661400005 ()19296140 (PubMedID)2-s2.0-70349568385 (Scopus ID)
Available from: 2009-05-18 Created: 2009-05-18 Last updated: 2017-12-13Bibliographically approved
Bergknut, M., Kucera, A., Frech, K., Andersson, E., Engwall, M., Rannug, U., . . . Tysklind, M. (2007). Identification of potentially toxic compounds in complex extracts of environmental samples using gas chromatography-mass spectrometry and multivariate data analysis. Environmental Toxicology and Chemistry, 26(2), 208-217
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Identification of potentially toxic compounds in complex extracts of environmental samples using gas chromatography-mass spectrometry and multivariate data analysis
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2007 (English)In: Environmental Toxicology and Chemistry, ISSN 0730-7268, E-ISSN 1552-8618, Vol. 26, no 2, p. 208-217Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

In this study, we examined 31 samples of varying chemical composition, including samples of soils from gasworks, coke production sites, and sites where wood preservatives were heavily used; ash and soot from municipal solid waste incinerators; antiskid sand; and dust from areas with heavy road traffic. The samples were comprehensively chemically characterized, especially their polycyclic aromatic compound contents, using gas chromatography-time-of-flight mass spectrometry, whereas their biological effects were assessed using dehydrogenase activity, root growth (Hordeum vulgare), reproduction of springtails (Folsomia candida), algal growth (Desmodesmus subspicatus), germinability (Sinapis alba), Vibrio fischeri, DR-CALUX, and Ames Salmonella assays. The number of compounds detected in the samples ranged from 123 to 527. Using the multivariate regression technique of partial-least-squares projections to latent structures, it was possible to find individual compounds that exhibited strong correlations with the different biological responses. Some of the results, however, indicate that a broader chemical characterization may be needed to identify all the compounds that may cause the measured biological responses.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
New York: Pergamon, 2007
Environmental Pollutants/*toxicity, Gas Chromatography-Mass Spectrometry/*methods, Multivariate Analysis
National Category
Environmental Sciences Natural Sciences Environmental Sciences
Research subject
urn:nbn:se:oru:diva-4718 (URN)10.1897/06-204R.1 (DOI)17713206 (PubMedID)
Available from: 2008-11-12 Created: 2008-11-12 Last updated: 2017-12-14Bibliographically approved

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