Time filter

Source Type

Margesin R.,University of Innsbruck | Plaza G.A.,Institute for Ecology of Industrial Areas | Kasenbacher S.,University of Innsbruck

The microbial community in soil samples from two long-term contaminated sites was characterized by using culture-dependent and culture-independent methods. The two sites investigated contained high amounts of heavy metals and were located in the upper Silesia Industrial Region in southern Poland. The evaluation of the aerobic soil microbial population clearly demonstrated the presence of considerable numbers of viable, culturable bacteria at both sites. A high fraction of the bacterial population was able to grow in the presence of high amounts of metals, i.e. up to 10mM Zn2+, 3mM Pb2+ or 1mM Cu2+. Site 1 contained significantly (P<0.05) lower bacterial numbers growing in the presence of 10mM Zn2+ than site 2, while the opposite was observed for bacteria tolerating 1mM Cu2+. This coincided with the contents of these two metals at the two sites. Ecophysiological (EP) indices for copiotrophs (r-strategists) and oligotrophs (K-strategists) pointed to high bacterial diversity at both sites. Fluorescence in situ hybridization (FISH) analysis indicated that Actinobacteria and Proteobacteria represent the physiologically active fraction of bacteria at the two sites. Shannon diversity (H') indices for FISH-detected bacterial phylogenetic groups were not significantly different at the two sites. © 2010 Elsevier Ltd. Source

Wcislo E.,Institute for Ecology of Industrial Areas
Human and Ecological Risk Assessment

The main objective of the study was derivation of risk-based soil screening levels (RBSSLs) under two basic exposure scenarios-industrial and residential, and their comparison with the relevant soil quality standards (SQSs), applied in Poland as remedial targets. The RBSSLs were derived from standardized sets of equations that are based on the recently updated U.S. Environmental Protection Agency's human health risk assessment methods. The article presents the results concerning 12 contaminants listed in the SQS ordinance: arsenic, barium, cadmium, cobalt, chromium, copper, mercury, molybdenum, nickel, lead, tin, and zinc. Taking only the human health protection criterion into account, most of SQSs for non-carcinogenic metals under both industrial and residential scenarios seem to be too stringent if used as the remedial levels, which may lead to unnecessary remediation. On the other hand, the SQSs for carcinogenic contaminants (As, CrVI) correspond to cancer risk levels significantly higher than the acceptable level of 1E-06. The findings of the study may constitute the first step to justify the amendment of the Polish SQS ordinance aimed at establishing the new soil quality values based on clearly defined criteria. © 2012 Copyright Taylor and Francis Group, LLC. Source

Pacwa-Plociniczak M.,Silesian University | Plaza G.A.,Institute for Ecology of Industrial Areas | Piotrowska-Seget Z.,Silesian University | Cameotra S.S.,Chandigarh Institute of Microbial Technology
International Journal of Molecular Sciences

Increasing public awareness of environmental pollution influences the search and development of technologies that help in clean up of organic and inorganic contaminants such as hydrocarbons and metals. An alternative and eco-friendly method of remediation technology of environments contaminated with these pollutants is the use of biosurfactants and biosurfactant-producing microorganisms. The diversity of biosurfactants makes them an attractive group of compounds for potential use in a wide variety of industrial and biotechnological applications. The purpose of this review is to provide a comprehensive overview of advances in the applications of biosurfactants and biosurfactant-producing microorganisms in hydrocarbon and metal remediation technologies. © 2010 by the authors; licensee MDPI, Basel, Switzerland. Source

Fulara I.,Institute for Ecology of Industrial Areas | Czaplicka M.,Institute of Non Ferrous Metals
Journal of Separation Science

Polybrominated diphenyl ethers (PBDEs) are a group of persistent organic pollutants. They are used as flame retardants in plastics, paints, varnishes and textile materials. PBDEs pose great risk to the environment because of their high persistence and ability to get into the environment easily due to the lack of chemical bonds with the matrix of materials, to which they are added. Global research studies confirmed the occurrence of those compounds in the majority of elements of water and land environment. Analysis of PBDEs in environmental samples is one of the specific analytical methods of criteria that comprise low detection limits and high selectivity. The analysis of PBDEs in environmental samples is one of the specific analytical methods, in which the main criteria are low detection limits and high selectivity. In this article, a literature review of methods for environmental sample preparation and analysis of the PBDE content was presented. The article discusses the potential of modern extraction techniques such as: solid-phase microextraction, single-drop microextraction, dispersive liquid-liquid microextraction, microwave-assisted extraction, cloud point extraction, hollow fibre-liquid phase microextraction and others for the separation of PBDEs from environmental samples with a complex matrix. Among the methods for qualitative and quantitative determination of PBDEs, a particular focus was put on gas chromatography/mass spectrometry with various injection techniques and different types of sample ionisation. © 2012 WILEY-VCH Verlag GmbH & Co. KGaA, Weinheim. Source

The objective of this study was to determine the sources of SO42- in groundwater of the Olkusz-Zawiercie Major Groundwater Body. The quality of groundwater was relatively good in the past, but fluctuations of the water table level have caused degradation of water quality. Variations in the water table level and the formation of the depression cone have resulted from both groundwater withdrawal and Zn-Pb mine dewatering. As a result within the extended vadose zone of the aquifer, weathering of pyrite and accompanying sulfides has taken place. Since 1992 the water table has risen and this process has been associated with an increase in concentrations of SO42-, Ca and Mg. At the same time, the pH has decreased and periodically high Fe concentrations have been detected. High concentrations of Mg and Sr have been observed and, since gypsum layers are known to be present, a de-dolomitisation process has been hypothesized. The PHREEQC program for Windows was used to estimate saturation indices for calcite, dolomite, gypsum and epsomite. Isotopic data for SO42- dissolved in the groundwater and archival data on isotopic composition of ore sulfides were used to solve the isotope balance equation and to estimate the fraction of dissolved SO42- that originated from pyrite oxidation and gypsum dissolution. The results have shown that dissolution of pyrite oxidation products has a significant influence on chemical composition of groundwater, especially in the southern part of the cone of depression. By solving the additional, combined mass transfer and isotope balance equations it was inferred that a variation in isotopic composition of weathered sulfides must also occur. © 2010 Elsevier Ltd. Source

Discover hidden collaborations