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Title: PAHs content of sewage sludge in Europe and its use as soil fertilizer

Highlights: • Sewage sludge contamination by PAHs may restrict its use as soil fertilizer. • Long term data concerning sewage sludge contamination by PAHs is lacking. • Literature review for EU countries and monitoring data for Italy is presented. • Focus PEARL model was used to simulate B(a)Pyr, the most toxic PAH, fate in soil. • The simulated B(a)Pyr soil concentration was much lower than its LOEC for soil organisms. - Abstract: The European Commission has been planning limits for organic pollutants in sewage sludge for 14 years; however no legislation has been implemented. This is mainly due to lack of data on sewage sludge contamination by organic pollutants, and possible negative effects to the environment. However, waste management has become an acute problem in many countries. Management options require extensive waste characterization, since many of them may contain compounds which could be harmful to the ecosystem, such as heavy metals, organic pollutants. The present study aims to show the true European position, regarding the polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs) content of sewage sludge, by comparing the Italian PAHs content with European Union countries, and at assessing the suitability of sewage sludge as soil fertilizer. The FOCUS Pearl model was usedmore » to estimate the concentration of benzo [a] pyrene (B(a)Pyr), the most toxic PAH in soil, and its exposure to organisms was then evaluated. The simulated B(a)Pyr and PAHs, expressed as B(a)Pyr, concentrations in soil were much lower than the B(a)Pyr’s most conservative lowest observable effect concentration (LOEC) for soil organisms. Furthermore, the results obtained indicate that it is more appropriate to apply 5 t ha{sup −1} sewage sludge annually than 15 t ha{sup −1} triennially. Results suggest, the EU maximum recommended limit of 6 mg kg{sup −1} PAHs in sewage sludge, should be conservative enough to avoid groundwater contamination and negative effects on soil organisms.« less
Authors:
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Publication Date:
OSTI Identifier:
22472526
Resource Type:
Journal Article
Resource Relation:
Journal Name: Waste Management; Journal Volume: 41; Other Information: Copyright (c) 2015 Elsevier Science B.V., Amsterdam, The Netherlands, All rights reserved.; Country of input: International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA)
Country of Publication:
United States
Language:
English
Subject:
12 MANAGEMENT OF RADIOACTIVE WASTES, AND NON-RADIOACTIVE WASTES FROM NUCLEAR FACILITIES; CONCENTRATION RATIO; CONTAMINATION; ECOSYSTEMS; FERTILIZERS; GROUND WATER; HEAVY METALS; ITALY; LEGISLATION; POLLUTANTS; POLYCYCLIC AROMATIC HYDROCARBONS; PYRENE; REVIEWS; SEWAGE SLUDGE; SIMULATION; SOILS; TOXICITY; WASTE MANAGEMENT