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Ecotoxicol Environ Saf. 1999 Jun;43(2):138-48.

Ecotoxicological characterization of energetic substances using a soil extraction procedure.

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Biotechnology Research Institute, National Research Council of Canada, 6100 Royalmount Avenue, Montréal, Québec, H4P 2R2, Canada.


The acetonitrile-sonication extraction method (US EPA SW-846 Method 8330) and aquatic-based toxicity tests were used on laboratory and field samples, to characterize the ecotoxicity of soils contaminated with energetic substances. Spiked soil studies indicated that 2,4, 6-trinitrotoluene (TNT)-dependent soil toxicity could be measured in organic extracts and aqueous leachates using the 15-min Microtox (Vibrio fischeri, IC50=0.27 to 0.94 mg TNT/liter incubation medium) and 96-h Selenastrum capricornutum growth inhibition (IC50=0.62 to 1. 14 mg/liter) toxicity tests. Analyses of leachates of composite soil samples [containing TNT and some TNT metabolites, 1,3,5-trinitro-1,3, 5-triazacyclohexane (RDX), and 1,3,5,7-tetranitro-1,3,5, 7-tetrazacyclooctane (HMX)] from an explosives manufacturing facility, indicated toxicities similar to those found in the TNT-spiked soil studies and pure TNT in solution, and suggested that TNT was the major toxicant. Using TNT as a model toxicant in soils having different moisture contents (20% vs dry) and textures (sandy vs clayey-sandy) but similar organic matter content (3-4%), multi-factorial analyses of Microtox test data revealed that these soil factors significantly influenced the TNT extractability from soil and subsequent toxicity measurements. Taken together, data indicate that the modified Method 8330 may be used in conjunction with ecotoxicity tests to reflect the toxic potential of soils contaminated with energetic substances.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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