Environmental Science and Pollution Research

, Volume 22, Issue 12, pp 8927–8941

Managing long-term polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbon contaminated soils: a risk-based approach

  • Luchun Duan
  • Ravi Naidu
  • Palanisami Thavamani
  • Jean Meaklim
  • Mallavarapu Megharaj
Bioavailability - the underlying basis for Risk Based Land Management

DOI: 10.1007/s11356-013-2270-0

Cite this article as:
Duan, L., Naidu, R., Thavamani, P. et al. Environ Sci Pollut Res (2015) 22: 8927. doi:10.1007/s11356-013-2270-0

Abstract

Polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs) are a family of contaminants that consist of two or more aromatic rings fused together. Soils contaminated with PAHs pose significant risk to human and ecological health. Over the last 50 years, significant research has been directed towards the cleanup of PAH-contaminated soils to background level. However, this achieved only limited success especially with high molecular weight compounds. Notably, during the last 5–10 years, the approach to remediate PAH-contaminated soils has changed considerably. A risk-based prioritization of remediation interventions has become a valuable step in the management of contaminated sites. The hydrophobicity of PAHs underlines that their phase distribution in soil is strongly influenced by factors such as soil properties and ageing of PAHs within the soil. A risk-based approach recognizes that exposure and environmental effects of PAHs are not directly related to the commonly measured total chemical concentration. Thus, a bioavailability-based assessment using a combination of chemical analysis with toxicological assays and nonexhaustive extraction technique would serve as a valuable tool in risk-based approach for remediation of PAH-contaminated soils. In this paper, the fate and availability of PAHs in contaminated soils and their relevance to risk-based management of long-term contaminated soils are reviewed. This review may serve as guidance for the use of site-specific risk-based management methods.

Keywords

Polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs)Long-term contaminated sitesRisk-based land managementBioavailabilityRemediationBioindicators

Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2013

Authors and Affiliations

  • Luchun Duan
    • 1
  • Ravi Naidu
    • 1
  • Palanisami Thavamani
    • 1
  • Jean Meaklim
    • 2
  • Mallavarapu Megharaj
    • 1
  1. 1.Centre for Environmental Risk Assessment and Remediation and CRC CARE Pty Ltd.University of South AustraliaMawson LakesAustralia
  2. 2.URS Australia Pty Ltd.MelbourneAustralia