Environmental Monitoring and Assessment

, Volume 184, Issue 4, pp 2193–2204 | Cite as

Construction of a chemical ranking system of soil pollution substances for screening of priority soil contaminants in Korea

  • Seung-Woo JeongEmail author
  • Youn-Joo An


The Korean government recently proposed expanding the number of soil-quality standards to 30 by 2015. The objectives of our study were to construct a reasonable protocol for screening priority soil contaminants for inclusion in the planned soil quality standard expansion. The chemical ranking system of soil pollution substances (CROSS) was first developed to serve as an analytical tool in chemical scoring and ranking of possible soil pollution substances. CROSS incorporates important parameters commonly used in several previous chemical ranking and scoring systems and the new soil pollution parameters. CROSS uses soil-related parameters in its algorithm, including information related to the soil environment, such as soil ecotoxicological data, the soil toxic release inventory (TRI), and soil partitioning coefficients. Soil TRI and monitoring data were incorporated as local specific parameters. In addition, CROSS scores the transportability of chemicals in soil because soil contamination may result in groundwater contamination. Dermal toxicity was used in CROSS only to consider contact with soil. CROSS uses a certainty score to incorporate data uncertainty. CROSS scores the importance of each candidate substance and assigns rankings on the basis of total scores. Cadmium was the most highly ranked. Generally, metals were ranked higher than other substances. Pentachlorophenol, phenol, dieldrin, and methyl tert-butyl ether were ranked the highest among chlorinated compounds, aromatic compounds, pesticides, and others, respectively. The priority substance list generated from CROSS will be used in selecting substances for possible inclusion in the Korean soil quality standard expansion; it will also provide important information for designing a soil-environment management scheme.


Chemical ranking and scoring (CRS) Soil contaminant Soil quality guideline Toxic release inventory Human toxicity Ecological toxicity Exposure 


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media B.V. 2011

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Environmental EngineeringKunsan National UniversityKunsanSouth Korea
  2. 2.Department of Environmental ScienceKonkuk UniversitySeoulSouth Korea

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