Ecotoxicity of pentachlorophenol in contaminated soil as affected by soil type

M. K. Banks, A. P. Schwab

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

5 Scopus citations


Four uncontaminated soils were chosen with a wide range of pH, organic carbon, and clay content to allow us to determine the properties that were most influential on pentachlorophenol (PCP) toxicity. The soils were contaminated in the laboratory at concentrations of 50 and 100 mg/kg and target organisms were exposed to the contaminated soil. Germination and emergence of lettuce seedlings was found to be dependent upon PCP concentration and soil type, and responses were highly correlated to extractable concentrations. Earthworms were sensitive to PCP, regardless of soil properties, and mortality was observed in most samples at the 100 mg/kg concentration. Toxic responses by the worms were not strongly related to soil properties or extractable concentrations. The importance of soil chemical and physical properties on toxicity and bioavailability depends upon the target organism. In the case of lettuce seedlings, PCP is acquired through the aqueous phase; therefore, the chemical interaction between PCP and soil controls toxicity. Since earthworms ingest soil and potentially can change the chemical environment of exposure, the impact of soil properties on PCP toxicity is less apparent.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)117-128
Number of pages12
JournalJournal of Environmental Science and Health - Part A Toxic/Hazardous Substances and Environmental Engineering
Issue number2
StatePublished - Feb 1 2006


  • Contamination
  • Germination
  • Hazardous organic compounds
  • Pentachlorophenol
  • Plants
  • Risk assessment
  • Seedlings
  • Soil
  • Toxicity

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Environmental Engineering


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