Bulletin of Environmental Contamination and Toxicology

, Volume 13, Issue 1, pp 86–93

Migration of polychlorinated biphenyls in soil induced by percolating water


  • E. S. Tucker
    • Monsanto Company
  • W. J. Litschgi
    • Monsanto Company
  • W. M. Mees
    • Monsanto Company

DOI: 10.1007/BF01684869

Cite this article as:
Tucker, E.S., Litschgi, W.J. & Mees, W.M. Bull. Environ. Contam. Toxicol. (1975) 13: 86. doi:10.1007/BF01684869


The results of this study clearly demonstrate that PCBs are not readily leached from soil by percolating water. In the worst case, less than 0.05% of the total Aroclor 1016 available (25,000 ppm) was leached from the soil during the entire four-month duration of these experiments. During this period of time approximately 50–100 liters of water were passed through the three soil columns, an amount of water roughly equivalent to 50–100 ft. of rainfall, assuming no run off.

The ease of leaching Aroclor 1016 from the different types of soils was in the following order: Norfolk Sandy Loam>Ray Silty Loam>Drummer Silty Clay Loam.

Additionally, it was observed that only the less chlorinated, more degradable homologs were leached from the soils.

The results of this study support the conclusion drawn by the Michigan Water Resources Commission that landfills are only a minor source of PCB environmental contamination, HESSE (1971).

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© Springer-Verlag New York Inc 1975