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Application of bioassays to evaluate a copper contaminated soil before and after a pilot-scale electrokinetic remediation

Wang, Quan-Ying, Zhou, Dong-Mei, Cang, Long, Sun, Tian-Ran
Environmental pollution 2009 v.157 no.2 pp. 410-416
bioassays, carbon, copper, earthworms, ecotoxicology, humans, microbial biomass, physicochemical properties, polluted soils, remediation, risk, soil respiration, urease
Remediation programmes are considered to be complete when human risk-based criteria are met. However, these targets are often unsatisfied with the ecological parameters that may be important with regard to future soil use. Five soil subsamples, collecting along a pilot-scale soil column after electrokinetic treatment, were studied, from which about 42.0%-93.3% soil Cu had been successfully removed. A series of biological assays including soil microbial biomass carbon, basal soil respiration, soil urease activity, earthworm assays, and seed assays were used to evaluate their ecological risks. The results showed that the bioassay data from the treatment variants did not supposedly reflecting the decreased soil Cu concentrations after the electrokinetic treatment, but were highly correlated with some soil physicochemical characteristics. It suggests that bioassays are necessary to assess the ecotoxicity of soil after electrokinetic treatment.