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Impact of Microorganisms on Arsenic Biogeochemistry: A Review

Huang, Jen-How
Water, air, and soil pollution 2014 v.225 no.2 pp. 1848
arsenic, biogeochemistry, bioremediation, environmental health, methylation, microorganisms, sorption
Microorganisms are abundant in many surface and near-surface geochemical environments. They interact with arsenic through a variety of mechanisms, including sorption, mobilisation, precipitation and redox and methylation transformation; sometimes, this is to their benefit, while other times it is to their detriment, substantially affecting the fate and transport of arsenic in the environment. Here, an attempt was made to review the current state of knowledge concerning microbial influences on arsenic transformation and retention processes at the water–solid interface with the goal to elucidate the ability of microorganisms to react with arsenic, and to quantify the role of microorganisms in the biogeochemical arsenic cycle. Such knowledge is indispensable for comprehensive understanding arsenic behaviour in the environment and support accurate assessment of the threat of arsenic contamination to human and environmental health, as well as for the development of novel technologies for arsenic bioremediation.