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Towards bioavailability-based soil criteria: past, present and future perspectives

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal article

Published

  • Ravi Naidu
  • Rufus Channey
  • Stuart McConnell
  • Niall Johnston
  • Kirk T. Semple
  • Steve McGrath
  • Victor Dries
  • Paul Nathanail
  • Joop Harmsen
  • Andrew Pruszinski
  • Janet Macmillan
  • Thavamani Palanisami
Journal publication date2014
JournalEnvironmental Science and Pollution Research
Early online date22/03/13
Original languageEnglish

Abstract

Bioavailability has been used as a key indicator in chemical risk assessment yet poorly quantified risk factor. Worldwide, the framework used to assess potentially contaminated sites is similar, and the decisions are based on threshold contaminant concentration. The uncertainty in the definition and measurement of bioavailability had limited its application to environment risk assessment and remediation. Last ten years have seen major developments in bioavailability research and acceptance. The use of bioavailability in the decision making process as one of the key variables has led to a gradual shift towards a more sophisticated risk-based approach. Now a days, many decision makers and regulatory organisations 'more readily accept' this concept. Bioavailability should be the underlying basis for risk assessment and setting remediation goals of those contaminated sites that pose risk to environmental and human health. This paper summarises the potential application of contaminant bioavailability and bioaccessibility to the assessment of sites affected by different contaminants, and the potential for this to be the underlying basis for sustainable risk assessment and remediation in Europe, North America and Australia over the coming decade.