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This article in JEQ

  1. Vol. 3 No. 3, p. 207-209
    Received: Mar 30, 1973

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Respirometric Evidence of the Utilization of Di-octyl and Di-2-ethylhexyl Phthalate Plasticizers1

  1. S. P. Mathur2



Phthalic acid esters (PAEs), due to their teratogenic and mutagenic properties, threaten to disturb the ecological balance. Di-octyl phthalate (DOP) and di-2-ethylhexyl phthalate (DEHP) esters are present in the environment as micropollutants, originating from industrial usages in plastics.

Because of the probability that PAEs also occur naturally, it was expected that soil and water microorganisms would utilize PAEs during the performance of their normal role in the cyclization of carbon in nature.

Since this assumption is not sufficiently supported in the literature, a study was conducted to determine whether soil microorganisms utilize DOP and DEHP. A loam soil was incubated at 4, 10, 22 to 25 and 32C with DOP, DEHP and two other PAEs. Soil respiration rates were measured after 14 weeks, either with or without fresh additions of the PAEs. Increased rates of respiration, indicating microbial utilization of all the PAEs, were recorded. However, the results indicated that DOP and DEHP are used only marginally at 4 and 10C.

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