Earthworms and in vitro physiologically-based extraction tests: complementary tools for a holistic approach towards understanding risk at arsenic-contaminated sites.

Abstract:

:The relationship of the total arsenic content of a soil and its bioaccumulation by earthworms (Lumbricus rubellus and Dendrodrilus rubidus) to the arsenic fraction bioaccessible to humans, measured using an in vitro physiologically-based extraction test (PBET), was investigated. Soil and earthworm samples were collected at 24 sites at the former arsenic mine at the Devon Great Consols (DGC) in southwest England (UK), along with an uncontaminated site in Nottingham, UK, for comparison. Analysis of soil and earthworm total arsenic via inductively coupled plasma mass spectrometry (ICP-MS) was performed following a mixed acid digestion. Arsenic concentrations in the soil were elevated (204-9,025 mg kg(-1)) at DGC. The arsenic bioaccumulation factor (BAF) for both earthworm species was found to correlate positively with the human bioaccessible fraction (HBF), although the correlation was only significant (P < or = 0.05) for L. rubellus. The potential use of both in vitro PBETs and earthworms as complementary tools is explored as a holistic and multidisciplinary approach towards understanding risk at contaminated sites. Arsenic resistant earthworm species such as the L. rubellus populations at DGC are presented as a valuable tool for understanding risk at highly contaminated sites.

journal_name

Environ Geochem Health

authors

Button M,Watts MJ,Cave MR,Harrington CF,Jenkin GT

doi

10.1007/s10653-008-9208-3

subject

Has Abstract

pub_date

2009-04-01 00:00:00

pages

273-82

issue

2

eissn

0269-4042

issn

1573-2983

journal_volume

31

pub_type

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