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Cornell University

Superfund Research Program

Effect of Aging of Pollutants in Soil on Bioavailability, Extractability and Toxicity

Project Leader: Martin Alexander
Grant Number: P42ES005950
Funding Period: 1995 - 2000

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Project Summary (1995-2000)

The objective of this project is to understand and predict the extent of change in bioavailability-as defined by toxicity, biodegradability, and extractablity-with time of any organic compound present in soil. During the prolonged period that many organic pollutants remain in soil, they appear to become sequestered and their behavior changes. Hence, a study is being conducted to determine the properties of organic compounds and of soils that govern how aging in soil affects bioavailability and to establish the feasibility of using biodegradation and extraction methods to predict toxicity of organic compounds in soil. Plant, microbial, and invertebrate toxicity tests are being employed as a suite applicable to soil-borne hazardous wastes. In addition, studies are being conducted on the mechanisms by which aging occurs.

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