solid-phase flash assay

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Toxicological Investigation of Soils with the Solid-phase Flash Assay: Comparison with Other Ecotoxicological Tests

Lee Põllumaa, Anne Kahru, Adolf Eisenträger, Rain Reiman, Alla
Maloveryan and Annely Rätsep

A new direct-contact toxicity test, the solid-phase flash assay, which utilises photobacteria in direct contact with soil particles during the exposure, was evaluated on four soil samples. Samples HTNT1 and HTNT2 originated from former military sites in Germany, and were highly contaminated with nitroaromatics (approximately 20g/kg), lead and polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons. Samples LMKW1 and LMKW2, from bioremediation stacks in Germany, were mainly contaminated with mineral oils. The solid-phase flash assay was applied to soilwater slurries, and the results were compared with the toxicity data for soil-water extracts obtained by using various conventional ecotoxicological tests, in which photobacteria, crustaceans, protozoa and algae were used as test organisms. The LMKW1 and LMKW2 samples were not toxic (EC20 > 12.5%) according to all the tests applied, except for the Photobacterium phosphoreum conventional luminescence-inhibition test for LMKW1 (15-minute EC20 = 5.4%). The HTNT1 and HTNT2 samples were toxic according to all the tests applied, with the majority of EC20 values being lower than 1%. The solid-phase flash assay (1 minute of extraction and 30 seconds of exposure time) gave comparable results to the conventional tests. Therefore, this flash assay could be applied as a fast screening test in parallel with conventional toxicity tests that use soil 24-hour extracts. The flash assay results will be ready by the start of the conventional assays, and could serve as range-finders for these slower and more expensive tests.
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Study of the Environmental Hazard Caused by the Oil Shale Industry Solid Waste

Lee Põllumaa, Alla Maloveryan, Marina Trapido, Helgi Sillak and Anne Kahru

The environmental hazard was studied of eight soil and solid waste samples originating from a region of Estonia heavily polluted by the oil shale industry. The samples were contaminated mainly with oil products (up to 7231mg/kg) and polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs; up to 434mg/kg). Concentrations of heavy metals and water-extractable phenols were low. The toxicities of the aqueous extracts of solid-phase samples were evaluated by using a battery of Toxkit tests (involving crustaceans, protozoa, rotifers and algae). Waste rock and fresh semi-coke were classified as of “high acute toxic hazard”, whereas aged semi-coke and most of the polluted soils were classified as of “acute toxic hazard”. Analysis of the soil slurries by using the photobacterial solid-phase flash assay showed the presence of particle-bound toxicity in most samples. In the case of four samples out of the eight, chemical and toxicological evaluations both showed that the levels of PAHs, oil products or both exceeded their respective permitted limit values for the living zone (20mg PAHs/kg and 500mg oil products/kg); the toxicity tests showed a toxic hazard. However, in the case of three samples, the chemical and toxicological hazard predictions differed markedly: polluted soil from the Erra River bank contained 2334mg oil/kg, but did not show any water-extractable toxicity. In contrast, spent rock and aged semi-coke that contained none of the pollutants in hazardous concentrations, showed adverse effects in toxicity tests. The environmental hazard of solid waste deposits from the oil shale industry needs further assessment.
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