Section 37
Chapter 36,270

Influence of the properties of tropical soils in the toxicity and bioavailability of heavy metals in sewage sludge-amended lands

Ricardo Cesar, Marianna Silva, Juan Colonese, Edison Bidone, Silvia Egler, Zuleica Castilhos, Helena Polivanov

Environmental Earth Sciences 66(8): 2281-2292


ISSN/ISBN: 1866-6280
DOI: 10.1007/s12665-011-1449-2
Accession: 036269507

The toxicity and potential bioavailability of heavy metals were studied in sewage sludge-amended ferralsols and chernosols, using bioassays with earthworms (Eisenia andrei). Acute toxicity tests and avoidance assays were performed according to standard protocols. Potentially bioavailable concentrations of heavy metals were estimated by quantifying their concentrations in tissues of survival earthworms. The results revealed that soil properties played an important role in the toxicity and bioavailability of heavy metals. In this respect, higher levels of toxicity were detected for the ferralsol. The abundance of 2:1 clay minerals, high fertility and more basic values of pH seem to be very important in the reduction of toxicity levels for earthworms. Organisms exposed to the chernosols were able to uptake higher amount of metals. In that case, higher contents of nutrients in chernosols may have influenced such bioavailability processes. Avoidance responses were the most sensible indicator of toxicity. In the near future, such data can subsidize the establishment of toxic reference concentrations able to reflect the characteristics of important tropical pedological occurrences, supporting the definition of sustainable indicators for using sewage sludge in the tropical agriculture.

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