New Approach for Risk Screening of Contaminated Land

Following a century of industrialization, contaminated sites lie abandoned or underutilized all over the world. Now there is a rapid new approach for risk screening of each site, according to studies from the University of Gothenburg.

Using general and even site-specific guideline values may not always capture the true risk of contaminants at the site. The guideline values do not take into account the toxicity of the contaminant mixture or the bioavailability of the toxins, i.e. the extent to which they are taken up by plants or animals at the site. Bioavailability depends on a number of factors such as soil properties. (your specific results may vary)

"We have developed a simple, rapid triad approach for ecological risk-screening of metal-contaminated acidic soils. It takes into account the contaminants' site-specific chemical properties, mixtures and toxicities. The effects of contaminants can also be distinguished by examining the activity of organisms in soil from the site," says Emily Chapman at the Department of Biological and Environmental Sciences.

This approach can improve early risk estimates of metal-contaminated acidic soil and tell us more about the contaminants' true site-specific risks. More information also makes it easier to choose the right remediation technology and to determine when it is necessary to excavate the soil. >>Read More