ASSESSING VARIABILITY IN BIOAVAILABILITY OF POPS IN SOIL TO NATIVE EARTHWORMS USING TRADITIONAL BIOLOGICAL AND THIN-FILM SOLID-PHASE EXTRACTION
Anderson, Marya Orf
McConnell, Laura L
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A variety of man-made chemicals, from pesticides to flame retardants, have been identified as persistent organic pollutants (POPs). To examine the true effect of POPs on the environment the bioavailability must be determined. In this experiment two families of POPs, DDT and its constituents and PBDEs, were examined using a traditional and an alternate bioavailability method. Polymer thin-film solid-phase extraction (TF-SPE) uses a polymer, EVA, to mimic earthworm bioavailability. The TF-SPE method is faster and easier than the biological method. Soil and native earthworms were obtained from a historically DDT contaminated orchard, and two commercial farm fields in which PBDEs were introduced through multiple biosolids applications. This study establishes a correlation between the TF-SPE method and native earthworm accumulation for the two types of contaminants. TF-SPE has the potential to be an easy and effective method of assessing variability in bioavailability due to field management techniques or remediation efforts.