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A study on temporal trends and estimates of fate of Bisphenol A in agricultural soils after sewage sludge amendment.

Zhang, Zulin; Velly, Morgane Le; Rhind, Stewart M.; Kyle, Carol E.; Hough, Rupert L.; Duff, Elizabeth I.; McKenzie, Craig


Zulin Zhang

Morgane Le Velly

Stewart M. Rhind

Carol E. Kyle

Rupert L. Hough

Elizabeth I. Duff

Craig McKenzie


Temporal concentration trends of BPA in soils were investigated following sewage sludge application to pasture (study 1: short term sludge application; study 2: long term multiple applications over 13 years). The background levels of BPA in control soils were similar, ranging between 0.67-10.57 ng g? 1 (mean: 3.02 ng g? 1) and 0.51-6.58 ng g? 1 (mean: 3.22 ng g? 1) for studies 1 and 2, respectively. Concentrations in both treated and control plots increased over the earlier sampling times of the study to a maximum and then decreased over later sampling times, suggesting other sources of BPA to both the treated and control soils over the study period. In study 1 there was a significant treatment effect of sludge application in the autumn (p = 0.002) although no significant difference was observed between treatment and control soils in the spring. In study 2 treated soils contained considerably higher BPA concentrations than controls ranging between 12.89-167.9 ng g? 1 (mean: 63.15 ng g? 1). This and earlier studies indicate the long-term accumulation of multiple contaminants by multiple sewage sludge applications over a prolonged period although the effects of the presence of such contaminant mixtures have not yet been elucidated. Fugacity modelling was undertaken to estimate partitioning of Bisphenol A (soil plus sewage: pore water: soil air partitioning) and potential uptake into a range of food crops. While Bisphenol A sorbs strongly to the sewage-amended soil, 4% by mass was predicted to enter soil pore water resulting in significant uptake by crops particularly leafy vegetables (3.12-75.5 ng g? 1), but also for root crops (1.28-31.0 ng g? 1) with much lower uptake into cereal grains (0.62-15.0 ng g? 1). This work forms part of a larger programme of research aimed at assessing the risks associated with the long-term application of sewage sludge to agricultural soils.

Journal Article Type Article
Publication Date May 15, 2015
Journal Science of the total environment
Print ISSN 0048-9697
Electronic ISSN 1879-1026
Publisher Elsevier
Peer Reviewed Peer Reviewed
Volume 515-516
Pages 1-11
Institution Citation ZHANG, Z., LE VELLY, M., RHIND, S.M., KYLE, C.E., HOUGH, R.L., DUFF, E.I. and MCKENZIE, C. 2015. A study on temporal trends and estimates of fate of Bisphenol A in agricultural soils after sewage sludge amendment. Science of the total environment [online], 515-516, pages 1-11. Available from:
Keywords Bisphenol A; Sewage sludge; Soil; Temporal trend; Modelling; Risk assessment


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