Measurement of the bioavailability of potentially harmful substances in soil : the 'how' and the 'why'

Cave, Mark. 2012 Measurement of the bioavailability of potentially harmful substances in soil : the 'how' and the 'why'. [Keynote] In: Society of Environmental Toxicology and Chemistry UK and Royal Society of Chemistry Toxicology Group Joint Meeting - Bioavailability: Linking complex Environmental Chemistry with Environmental Response, London, UK, 17-18 Sept 2012. (Unpublished)

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In terms of human health risk assessment there are three main exposure pathways for a given contaminant present in soil. The largest area of concern is the oral/ingestion pathway followed by the dermal and respiratory exposure routes (Paustenbach, 2000). Whether contaminated soils pose a human health risk depends on the potential of the contaminant to leave the soil and enter the human bloodstream. The use of total contaminant concentrations in soils provides a conservative approach as it assumes that all of the metal present in the soil can enter the bloodstream. Results from animal tests e.g. (Denys et al., 2012) suggest that contaminants in a soil matrix maybe absorbed to a lesser extent and show fewer toxic effects compared to the same concentration of soluble salts of the contaminants in a food or liquid matrix. This presentation will give an overview of the interdisciplinary inputs required to develop and validate methods for measuring the bioavailability /bioaccessibility of contaminants in soil, contrasting and comparing the requirements for inorganic and organic substances. The need for allied methodologies for understanding the processes which control the bioavailability /bioaccessibility of contaminants in soil will be discussed and examples of how both the properties of the contaminant and the physico-chemical properties of the soil can be used to provide an insight to bioavailability mechanisms. Finally, case studies of how bioaccessibility measurements have been applied on a local regional level will be presented.

Item Type: Publication - Conference Item (Keynote)
Programmes: BGS Programmes 2010 > Land Use, Planning and Development
NORA Subject Terms: Ecology and Environment
Date made live: 19 Sep 2012 13:24 +0 (UTC)

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