2,3,7,8-Tetrachlorodibenzo-P-dioxin: Aspects of Its Important Properties and Its Potential Biodegradation in Soils
- Mickey F. Arthur * and
- James I. Frea
2,3,7,8-tetrachlorodibenzo-p-dioxin (TCDD) is a persistent xenobiotic compound that has become widely dispersed in the environment. In laboratory animals, TCDD is acutely and chronically toxic, and is a carcinogen, mutagen, and teratogen. In humans, epidemiological studies of residents from Times Beach, MO, and Seveso, Italy, have failed to document significant TCDD-induced health effects. The environmental persistence of TCDD is due in part to its resistance to microbial attack. The factors responsible for microbial recalcitrance of pesticides are reviewed and related to the recalcitrance of TCDD. It is suggested that a major factor limiting TCDD degradation in the environment is its unavailability to the indigenous microflora. The possibility to decontaminate soils by mobilizing TCDD for attack by soil microorganisms is discussed.
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