Ecotoxicity of chemically stabilised metal(loid)s in shooting range soils

Peter Sanderson, Ravi Naidu, Nanthi Bolan

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

49 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Five chemical amendments (soft rock phosphate, lime, commercial phosphate amendment, red mud and magnesium oxide) were applied across four different shooting range soils to chemically stabilise metal(loid)s in the soils. Soils were contaminated with Pb between 2330 and 12,167. mg/kg, Sb from 7.4 to 325. mg/kg and soil pH ranged from 5.43 to 9.29. Amendments were tested for their ability to reduce the bioavailability of Pb, Sb, Zn, Ni, Cu and As in the soils to soil organisms after one year of aging, by measuring a series of ecotoxicological endpoints for earthworms and plants and soil microbial activity.Growth-based endpoints for earthworms and plants were not significantly affected by amendment addition, except in the most contaminated soil. Per cent survival and weight-loss reduction of earthworms was enhanced by amendment addition in only the most contaminated soil. Plant biomass and root elongation was not significantly affected by amendment addition (p=<0.05). Red mud and magnesium oxide appeared toxic to plants and earthworms, probably due to highly alkaline pH (9-12).Lead in soil organisms was relatively low despite the high concentrations of Pb in the soils, suggesting low bioavailability of Pb. Uptake of Pb by earthworms was reduced by between 40 and 96 per cent by amendments, but not across all soils. Amendments reduced Sb in earthworms in Townsville soil by up to 92 per cent.For lettuce the average uptake of Pb was reduced by 40 to 70 per cent with amendment addition in Townsville, Darwin and Perth soil. The effect of amendments on the uptake of Sb, Zn, Ni, Cu and As was variable between soils and amendments. Microbial activity was increased by greater than 50 per cent with amendments addition, with soft rock phosphate and lime being the most effective in Murray Bridge and TV soils and commercial phosphate and MgO being the most effective in Darwin and Perth soils.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)201-208
Number of pages8
JournalEcotoxicology and Environmental Safety
Volume100
Issue number1
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2014
Externally publishedYes

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