skip to main content
OSTI.GOV title logo U.S. Department of Energy
Office of Scientific and Technical Information

Title: Degradation and impact of phthalate plasticizers on soil microbial communities

Abstract

To assess the impact of phthalates on soil microorganisms and to supplement the environmental risk assessment for these xenobiotics, soil was treated with diethyl phthalate (DEP) or di (2-ethyl hexyl) phthalate (DEHP) at 0.1 to 100 mg/g. Bioavailability and membrane disruption were proposed as the characteristics responsible for the observed fate and toxicity of both compounds. Diethyl phthalate was biodegraded rapidly in soil with a half-life of 0.75 d at 20 C, and was not expected to persist in the environment. The DEHP, although biodegradable in aqueous solution, was recalcitrant in soil, because of poor bioavailability and was predicted to account for the majority of phthalate contamination in the environment. Addition of DEP or DEHP to soil at a concentration similar to that detected in nonindustrial environments had no impact on the structural diversity or functional diversity (BIOLOG) of the microbial community. At concentrations representative of a phthalate spill, DEP reduced numbers of both total culturable bacteria and pseudomonads within 1 d. This was due to disruption of membrane fluidity by the lipophilic phthalate, a mechanism not previously attributed to phthalates. However, DEHP had no effect on the microbial community or membrane fluidity, even at 100 mg/g, and was predictedmore » to have no impact on microbial communities in the environment.« less

Authors:
; ;
Publication Date:
Research Org.:
Univ. of Kent, Canterbury (GB)
OSTI Identifier:
20067665
Alternate Identifier(s):
OSTI ID: 20067665
Resource Type:
Journal Article
Journal Name:
Environmental Toxicology and Chemistry
Additional Journal Information:
Journal Volume: 19; Journal Issue: 5; Other Information: PBD: May 2000; Journal ID: ISSN 0730-7268
Country of Publication:
United States
Language:
English
Subject:
54 ENVIRONMENTAL SCIENCES; 63 RADIATION, THERMAL, AND OTHER ENVIRONMENTAL POLLUTANT EFFECTS ON LIVING ORGANISMS AND BIOLOGICAL MATERIALS; SOILS; PHTHALATES; BIODEGRADATION; REMEDIAL ACTION; BIOLOGICAL AVAILABILITY; TOXICITY

Citation Formats

Cartwright, C.D., Thompson, I.P., and Burns, R.G. Degradation and impact of phthalate plasticizers on soil microbial communities. United States: N. p., 2000. Web. doi:10.1897/1551-5028(2000)019<1253:DAIOPP>2.3.CO;2.
Cartwright, C.D., Thompson, I.P., & Burns, R.G. Degradation and impact of phthalate plasticizers on soil microbial communities. United States. doi:10.1897/1551-5028(2000)019<1253:DAIOPP>2.3.CO;2.
Cartwright, C.D., Thompson, I.P., and Burns, R.G. Mon . "Degradation and impact of phthalate plasticizers on soil microbial communities". United States. doi:10.1897/1551-5028(2000)019<1253:DAIOPP>2.3.CO;2.
@article{osti_20067665,
title = {Degradation and impact of phthalate plasticizers on soil microbial communities},
author = {Cartwright, C.D. and Thompson, I.P. and Burns, R.G.},
abstractNote = {To assess the impact of phthalates on soil microorganisms and to supplement the environmental risk assessment for these xenobiotics, soil was treated with diethyl phthalate (DEP) or di (2-ethyl hexyl) phthalate (DEHP) at 0.1 to 100 mg/g. Bioavailability and membrane disruption were proposed as the characteristics responsible for the observed fate and toxicity of both compounds. Diethyl phthalate was biodegraded rapidly in soil with a half-life of 0.75 d at 20 C, and was not expected to persist in the environment. The DEHP, although biodegradable in aqueous solution, was recalcitrant in soil, because of poor bioavailability and was predicted to account for the majority of phthalate contamination in the environment. Addition of DEP or DEHP to soil at a concentration similar to that detected in nonindustrial environments had no impact on the structural diversity or functional diversity (BIOLOG) of the microbial community. At concentrations representative of a phthalate spill, DEP reduced numbers of both total culturable bacteria and pseudomonads within 1 d. This was due to disruption of membrane fluidity by the lipophilic phthalate, a mechanism not previously attributed to phthalates. However, DEHP had no effect on the microbial community or membrane fluidity, even at 100 mg/g, and was predicted to have no impact on microbial communities in the environment.},
doi = {10.1897/1551-5028(2000)019<1253:DAIOPP>2.3.CO;2},
journal = {Environmental Toxicology and Chemistry},
issn = {0730-7268},
number = 5,
volume = 19,
place = {United States},
year = {2000},
month = {5}
}