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Polynuclear aromatic hydrocarbons in crops from long-term sewage sludge amended field experiments.

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal article

Published

Journal publication date1992
JournalEnvironmental Pollution
Journal number1
Volume76
Number of pages8
Pages25-32
Original languageEnglish

Abstract

This study reports on the polynuclear aromatic hydrocarbon (PAH) content of crop plants grown at three different field experiments where controlled additions of sewage sludge were made a number of years ago. Archived samples of several crops have been analysed from sludge-amended and unsludged control plots for 15 PAH compounds. Root crops and above ground plant parts were available for several years following the last applications of sludge. Although the soil PAH burden increased substantially due to sewage sludge additions, and residues of these compounds have persisted in the soils for many years, increased PAH concentrations relative to the unsludged controls were not consistently detected in plant tissues. Plant samples were relatively enriched with low molecular weight compounds such as acenaphthene/fluorene nd phenanthrene. Various lines of evidence indicate that PAHs detected in above ground plant parts are chiefly derived from atmospheric inputs, while PAHs detected in root crops probably arise from adsorption to the root surface.