Bio-accessibility and bioavailability of arsenic (As) in historically As-contaminated soils (cattle tick pesticide), and pristine soils were assessed using 3 different approaches. These approaches included human bio-accessibility using an extraction test replicating gastric conditions (in vitro physiologically-based extraction test); an operationally defined bioaccessibility extraction test - 1.0 M HCl extraction; and a live organism bioaccumulation test using earthworms. A sequential extraction procedure revealed the soil As-pool that controls bio-accessibility and bioaccumulation of As. Findings show that As is strongly bound to historically contaminated soil with a lower degree of As bio-accessibility (< 15%) and bioaccumulation (< 9%) compared with freshly contaminated soil. Key to these lower degrees of bio-accessibility and bioaccumulation is the greater fraction of As associated with crystalline Fe/Al oxy-hydroxide and residual phases. The high bio-accessibility and bioaccumulation of freshly sorbed As in pristine soils were from the exchangeable and specifically sorbed As fractions. Arsenic bioaccumulation in earthworms correlates strongly with both the human bio-accessible, and the operationally defined bioavailable fractions. Hence, results suggest that indirect As bioavailability measures, such as accumulation by earthworm, can be used as complementary lines of evidence to reinforce site-wide trends in the bio-accessibility using in vitro physiologically-based extractions and/or operationally defined extraction test. Such detailed knowledge is useful for successful reclamation and management of the As contaminated soils.
Rahman, MS, Reichelt-Brushet, AJ, Clark, MW, Farzana, T & Yee, LH 2017, 'Arsenic bio-accessibility and bioaccumulation in aged pesticide contaminated soils: a multiline investigation to understand environmental risk', Science of the Total Environment, vol. 581-582, pp. 782-793.
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