This project will investigate the environmental fate and adverse effects on soil organisms of organo-phosphate flame retardants, triclosan and nonyl-/octyl phenols contained in domestic sewage sludge following its incrorporation into agricultural soil.
Currently, sludge from treatment of domestic waste water is used to improve the properties of agricultural soils (provide plant nutrients and enhance organic matter content), but such sludge also contains several contaminants that pose a risk to the envir onment and to the human food chain. Among these are the organo-phosphate flame retardants (e.g. TCEP), triclosan and nonyl-/octyl phenols, which are among the compounds recently causing serious concern for environmental protection agencies throughout Euro pe, and to national committees on public health.
A series of experiments where sewage sludge or pure compounds are spiked into soil will describe dynamics, mass balances and biolgical effects on soil biota (earthworms, soil bacteria), and provide valuabl e information on environmental risks and risks related to transfer of these new priority pollutants towards the human food chain.
The present project will benefit from recently started projects at Bioforsk investigating heavy metals and organic contamina nts in sewage sludge used for soil improvement in agriculture, and the complementary knowledge at the Institute of Environmental Engineering, Technical University of Ostrava, Czech Republic, working on seensitive methods for detection of biological effect s for so called endocrine disruptors (compounds that cause homonal disorders).
During a 8 months visit to Norway, the PhD student Ivo Havranek will work in close collaboration with experts in Bioforsk having peak knowledge on biodegradation, plant accumu lation, and ecotoxicity and benefit from Bioforsks modern analytical laboratory.