Toxicity of organic chemical pollution in groundwater downgradient of a landfill (Grindsted, Denmark)

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    The aim of the present study was to describe the occurrence and distribution of toxicity related to organic chemical contaminants in the leachate plume downgradient of the Grindsted Landfill (Denmark). A total of 27 groundwater samples were preconcentrated by solidphase extraction (SPE) using XAD-2 as the resin material. This treatment effectively eliminated sample matrix toxicity caused by inorganic salts and natural organic compounds and produced an aqueous concentrate of the nonvolatile chemical contaminants. The SPE extracts were tested in a battery of standardized short-term aquatic toxicity tests with luminescent bacteria (Vibrio fischeri), algae(Selenastrum capricornutum), and crustaceans (Daphnia magna). Additional genotoxicity tests were made using the umuC test (Salmonella typhimurium). Biotests with algae and luminescent bacteria were the most sensitive tests. On the basis of results with these two bioassays, it was concluded that SPE extracts of groundwater collected close to the landfill were toxic. The toxicity decreased with the distance from the landfill. At distances greater than 80 m from the border of the landfill, the groundwater toxicity was not significantly different from the background toxicity. SPE extracts were not toxic to Daphnia (preconcentration factor 10), and no genotoxicity was observed in the umuC test (preconcentration factor up to 120). The overall findings indicate that a battery of biotests applied on preconcentrated groundwater samples can be a useful tool for toxicity characterization and hazard ranking of groundwater polluted with complex chemical mixtures, such as landfill leachates.
    Original languageEnglish
    Book seriesEnvironmental Science and Technology
    Issue number9
    Pages (from-to)1647-1652
    Publication statusPublished - 2000

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