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Ecotoxicol Environ Saf. 1989 Dec;18(3):241-51.

Ecotoxicological evaluation of soil quality criteria.

Author information

  • 1Department of Ecology and Ecotoxicology, Free University, Amsterdam, The Netherlands.

Abstract

To implement the Soil Protection Act of 1986, the Dutch Ministry of Housing, Physical Planning, and Environment has recently proposed a list of soil quality reference values. These values are, as yet, insufficiently based on ecotoxicological evidence. In this paper, a three-step procedure of risk assessment for soil contaminants is proposed. Arguing from experimental results concerning no observed effect concentrations for a set of selected soil organisms, the method aims at protecting a certain fraction of soil life, taking factors such as soil organic matter and clay content into account. When applied to cadmium, a concentration protecting 95% of soil invertebrates is estimated as 0.16 micrograms/g for a standard soil. The value of 0.8 micrograms/g, as proposed by the Dutch authorities, may, given the present variation and uncertainty of toxicity data, protect about 85% of the soil invertebrate fauna. It is concluded that even low levels of cadmium in soil may endanger the functioning of some sensitive soil animal species.

PMID:
2693071
[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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