Potential for Phytoremediation of PCDD/PCDF-Contaminated Sludge and Sediments Using Cucurbitaceae Plants: A Pilot Study

The current study evaluates the impact of sewage sludge and urban reservoir sediment on changes in total and Toxic Equivalency (TEQ) PCDD/PCDF concentration in soil and phytotoxicity measured using three test species: Lepidium sativum, Sinapis alba, and Sorghum saccharatum, during 5 weeks of Cucurbita pepo L. cv ‘Atena Polka’ (zucchini) cultivation. ‘Atena Polka’ was found to reduce total PCDD/PCDF concentration by 37% in soil amended with sludge and 32% in soil treated with sediment from an urban reservoir. The TEQ reduction was almost two-fold greater: 68% in soil amended with sludge and 52% with urban sediment. Addition of sludge increased root growth inhibition of L. sativum, S. alba and S. saccharatum, from 44% to 90%. Observed inhibitions were, however, reduced by ‘Atena Polka’ cultivation, and as high as 32% promotion in root length was noted. Amendment with urban sediment, in turn, resulted in an initial 1%-36% promotion of root growth, while ‘Atena Polka’ cultivation reduced this positive effect by inhibition as high as 26%. Results demonstrated positive influence of ‘Atena Polka’ on the phytotoxicity alleviation and mitigation of total and TEQ PCDD/PCDF concentrations in soil treated with bio-solids from sewage sludge and an urban reservoir.

Authors: Urbaniak M, Wyrwicka A, Zieli?ski M, Mankiewicz-Boczek J. ;Full Source: Bulletin of Environmental Contamination and Toxicology. 2016 Jun 30. [Epub ahead of print] ;