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This article in JEQ

  1. Vol. 19 No. 1, p. 113-118
    Received: Jan 30, 1989

    * Corresponding author(s):
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Plant Uptake of Sludge-Borne PCBs

  1. G. A. O'Connor *,
  2. D. Kiehl,
  3. G.A. Eiceman and
  4. J.A. Ryan
  1. D ep. of Chemistry, New Mexico State Univ., Las Cruces, NM 88003;
    U SEPA, Cincinnati, OH 45268.



Plant uptake of sludge-borne polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs) (similar to Aroclor 1248) was evaluated in a greenhouse study with two food-chain crops and a grass species. Polychlorinated biphenyl loading to two soils was varied in one experiment by adding different rates of a municipal sewage sludge heavily contaminated (52 mg kg−1 with PCBs. In a second experiment, Aroclor 1248 was spiked into unamended soils or soils amended with another sludge containing <1 mg kg−1 PCBs. Analysis of PCBs was by GC/MS with a reliable detection limit in plants of 20 µg kg−1 for individual chlorinated classes (tri-, tetra-, and pentachlorobiphenyls) and total PCBs. Only carrots (Daucus carota) were contaminated with PCBs, and contamination was restricted to carrot peels. Current USEPA guidelines for land application of sludges based on sludge PCB content are shown to be extremely conservative.

Journal article 1447, Agric. Exp. Stn., New Mexico State Univ., Las Cruces, NM 88003. Although financial support for this project was provided in part by Cooperative Agreement CRS12687-02 with the USEPA, this report has not had USEPA's required peer and policy review and does not necessarily reflect the views of the agency.

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