Special Issue "Fate and Transport of Contaminants in Soil and Groundwater Systems"

A special issue of Toxics (ISSN 2305-6304).

Deadline for manuscript submissions: closed (30 June 2017).

Special Issue Editors

Dr. Carmen Corada Fernandez
E-Mail Website
Guest Editor
University of Cadiz-Marine Research Institute (INMAR), Spain
Interests: analysis, behaviour, final fate and impact of emerging and regulated pollutants
Dr. Javier Valdes-Abellan
E-Mail Website
Guest Editor
Dep. of Civil Engineering (DIC). University of Alicante—UA, Spain
Interests: water resources; modeling water flux and solute transport; emerging contaminants
Prof. Dr. Lucila Candela
E-Mail Website
Guest Editor
IMDEA Water, Barcelona, Spain
Interests: water resources; groundwater; pollution
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Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

The availability, quality, and quantity of water resources are going to be one of the most important problems that humankind has to face in the decades to come. In that context, human activities (urban, industrial, and/or agriculture) may release a growing amount of new substances into the environment, and put soils and both surface and groundwater resources at risk. One the best-known example is water pollution by pesticides, which are directly applied to crops. On the other hand, there are hundreds of other chemicals that are not considered in routine sampling campaigns and have the potential to endanger soil and water systems. Among, these contaminants, there has been a growing interest over the last decade in “emerging pollutants”, which have acquired significance once the improvement of analytical techniques has enabled their detection and quantification at trace levels. It is a wide group, which includes surfactants, pharmaceuticals products, fragrances, sun-screen agents, insect repellents, etc. As consequence, presence of new chemicals in soil and water media has been widely reported by the scientific community over the last few decades. Such a situation creates a serious risk to public health and the environment; and research efforts are necessary to know the distribution and the behaviour of these compounds, to understand the extent of contamination, final fate, and possible transport to soil and groundwater in order to define water management strategies and actions required to reduce the risk.

This Special Issue wants to capture attention of this problem, and is devoted to new studies dealing with presence, behaviour, final fate, modeling, and/or remediation of contaminants in soil and groundwater systems. The scope of this Special Issue embraces a range of topics, including experimental investigations of contaminant sorption, degradation processes, diffusion, contaminant decay, transport in the unsaturated, and saturated zones; field experiments and new techniques of soil restoration; and new tools and strategies to monitor soils and groundwater pollution.

Dr. Carmen Corada-Fernández
Dr. Javier Valdes-Abellan
Prof. Dr. Lucila Candela
Guest Editors

Manuscript Submission Information

Manuscripts should be submitted online at www.mdpi.com by registering and logging in to this website. Once you are registered, click here to go to the submission form. Manuscripts can be submitted until the deadline. All papers will be peer-reviewed. Accepted papers will be published continuously in the journal (as soon as accepted) and will be listed together on the special issue website. Research articles, review articles as well as short communications are invited. For planned papers, a title and short abstract (about 100 words) can be sent to the Editorial Office for announcement on this website.

Submitted manuscripts should not have been published previously, nor be under consideration for publication elsewhere (except conference proceedings papers). All manuscripts are thoroughly refereed through a single-blind peer-review process. A guide for authors and other relevant information for submission of manuscripts is available on the Instructions for Authors page. Toxics is an international peer-reviewed open access monthly journal published by MDPI.

Please visit the Instructions for Authors page before submitting a manuscript. The Article Processing Charge (APC) for publication in this open access journal is 1600 CHF (Swiss Francs). Submitted papers should be well formatted and use good English. Authors may use MDPI's English editing service prior to publication or during author revisions.

Keywords

  • emerging pollutants contaminant transport
  • groundwater
  • vadose zone
  • soils
  • sorption
  • degradation
  • environmental behaviour
  • fate

Published Papers (7 papers)

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Research

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Article
Changes in Arsenic, Copper, Iron, Manganese, and Zinc Levels Resulting from the Application of Poultry Litter to Agricultural Soils
Toxics 2018, 6(2), 28; https://doi.org/10.3390/toxics6020028 - 14 May 2018
Cited by 5 | Viewed by 2323
Abstract
Twelve applications of poultry litter were made to a 2.1-ha field located in the Shenandoah Valley of Virginia, United States (USA), between March 1999 and August 2014. The field was planted with bermudagrass (Cynodon dactylon) and used as a pasture on [...] Read more.
Twelve applications of poultry litter were made to a 2.1-ha field located in the Shenandoah Valley of Virginia, United States (USA), between March 1999 and August 2014. The field was planted with bermudagrass (Cynodon dactylon) and used as a pasture on an active farm. Copper, iron, manganese, zinc, and arsenic concentrations in the poultry litter were measured, and the application rates of these metals were calculated. The median application rates were: Cu, 1.32 kg/ha, Fe, 5.57 kg/ha, Mn, 1.80 kg/ha, Zn, 1.39 kg/ha, and As, 0.011 kg/ha. Twelve surface and subsurface soil samples were taken from the treated field in February 2016. Twelve samples were also taken from a comparison site. The comparison site was directly adjacent to the study site, consisted of the same soil type, and had been maintained as an undisturbed forest. Extractable Cu, Fe, Mn, Zn, and As concentrations in the soil samples were determined by atomic absorption spectroscopy, and the results of the chemical analysis were analyzed by ANOVA. Fe and Mn were depleted from the soil in the treated field, while Cu and Zn levels increased over the 12 years of treatment and grazing, and arsenic levels were unchanged in both the surface and subsurface soils between the comparison and the study site. The changes observed for Cu, Fe, Mn, and Zn are within the critical deficiency level and critical toxicity level for these metals, and no arsenic remains in the soil from roxarsone feed supplements, which were added to the poultry feed when the litter was applied to the study site. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Fate and Transport of Contaminants in Soil and Groundwater Systems)
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Article
Differential Effects of Low-Molecular-Weight Organic Acids on the Mobilization of Soil-Borne Arsenic and Trace Metals
Toxics 2017, 5(3), 18; https://doi.org/10.3390/toxics5030018 - 21 Aug 2017
Cited by 10 | Viewed by 2650
Abstract
A batch experiment was conducted to examine the effects of six low-molecular-weight organic acids on the mobilization of arsenic and trace metals from a range of contaminated soils. The results showed that the organic acids behaved differently when reacting with soil-borne As and [...] Read more.
A batch experiment was conducted to examine the effects of six low-molecular-weight organic acids on the mobilization of arsenic and trace metals from a range of contaminated soils. The results showed that the organic acids behaved differently when reacting with soil-borne As and trace metals. Oxalic acid and acetic acid had the strongest and weakest capacity to mobilize the investigated elements, respectively. The solubilisation of iron oxides by the organic acids appears to play a critical role in mobilizing other trace metals and As. Apart from acidification and complexation, reductive dissolution played a dominant role in the dissolution of iron oxides in the presence of oxalic acid, while acidification tended to be more important for dissolving iron oxides in the presence of other organic acids. The unique capacity of oxalic acid to solubilize iron oxides tended to affect the mobilization of other elements in different ways. For Cu, Mn, and Zn, acidification-driven mobilization was likely to be dominant while complexation might play a major role in Pb mobilization. The formation of soluble Fe and Pb oxalate complexes could effectively prevent arsenate or arsenite from combining with these metals to form solid phases of Fe or Pb arsenate or arsenite. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Fate and Transport of Contaminants in Soil and Groundwater Systems)
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Article
Concentrations of Polybrominated Diphenyl Ethers (PBDEs) in Water from Asunle Stream, Ile-Ife, Nigeria
Toxics 2017, 5(2), 13; https://doi.org/10.3390/toxics5020013 - 16 Jun 2017
Cited by 6 | Viewed by 1990
Abstract
This study assessed the concentrations of polybrominated diphenylethers (PBDEs) in stream water obtained from Asunle stream, an adjoining stream of the Obafemi Awolowo University dumpsite. Water samples were collected for a period of eight months from six different locations comprising of a spot [...] Read more.
This study assessed the concentrations of polybrominated diphenylethers (PBDEs) in stream water obtained from Asunle stream, an adjoining stream of the Obafemi Awolowo University dumpsite. Water samples were collected for a period of eight months from six different locations comprising of a spot upstream in an uphill area relative to the refuse dumpsite and five others downstream along the stream course. The sampled waters were extracted with dicholoromethane using liquid-liquid extraction method and cleanup was carried out with silica gel. The final extracts after concentration were analyzed using GC-MS/MS. The recovery experiments were adequate (105%–110%). The mean levels of Ʃ6PBDEs compounds analyzed ranged from 0.03 to 0.45 ng/mL. Seasonal variability of PBDEs indicated that higher levels were found during the wet season. The levels of PBDEs recorded in this work were relatively lower compared to the values reported in the literature from other developed nations. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Fate and Transport of Contaminants in Soil and Groundwater Systems)
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Article
Pharmaceutical Wastewater Effluent—Source of Contaminants of Emerging Concern: Phytotoxicity of Metronidazole to Soybean (Glycine max)
Toxics 2017, 5(2), 10; https://doi.org/10.3390/toxics5020010 - 02 Apr 2017
Cited by 18 | Viewed by 3190
Abstract
Industrial discharge of active pharmaceutical ingredients (APIs) into the environment in some middle- and low-income countries is not sufficiently regulated. The phytotoxicity of metronidazole (FLAGYL)—one of the most commonly used over the counter (OTC) antibiotics, to soybean (Glycine max) is investigated. [...] Read more.
Industrial discharge of active pharmaceutical ingredients (APIs) into the environment in some middle- and low-income countries is not sufficiently regulated. The phytotoxicity of metronidazole (FLAGYL)—one of the most commonly used over the counter (OTC) antibiotics, to soybean (Glycine max) is investigated. Relative growth rate (RGR) expressed in gram per gram per day (gg−1d−1) was applied to plants destructively harvested at maturity (42 d), to determine the toxicological impact. Differences between mean RGR of the three groups were performed at 0.05 significance level. Multiple comparisons suggest that there was a statistical significant difference among mean RGR for all treatment groups. Metronidazole is toxic to soybean plants (Glycine max) based on dose-response criterion. There is a need to enforce treatment of pharmaceutical wastewater effluent by Pharmaceutical Manufacturing Companies (PMCs) before discharge into the environment. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Fate and Transport of Contaminants in Soil and Groundwater Systems)
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Article
Tannery Effluent Treatment by Yeast Species Isolates from Watermelon
Toxics 2017, 5(1), 6; https://doi.org/10.3390/toxics5010006 - 04 Feb 2017
Cited by 17 | Viewed by 2709
Abstract
The quest for an effective alternative means for effluent treatment is a major concern of the modern-day scientist. Fungi have been attracting a growing interest for the biological treatment of industrial wastewater. In this study, Saccharomycescerevisiae and Torulasporadelbrueckii were isolated from spoiled watermelon [...] Read more.
The quest for an effective alternative means for effluent treatment is a major concern of the modern-day scientist. Fungi have been attracting a growing interest for the biological treatment of industrial wastewater. In this study, Saccharomycescerevisiae and Torulasporadelbrueckii were isolated from spoiled watermelon and inoculated into different concentrations of effluent. The inoculants were incubated for 21-days to monitor the performance of the isolates by measurement of biochemical oxygen demand (BOD), chemical oxygen demand (COD), nitrates, conductivity, phosphates, sulphates and turbidity. The results showed that Saccharomycescerevisiae had the highest percentage decrease of 98.1%, 83.0%, 60.7%, 60.5%, and 54.2% for turbidity, sulphates, BOD, phosphates and COD, respectively, of the tannery effluent. Torulasporadelbrueckii showed the highest percentage decrease of 92.9%, 90.6%, and 61.9% for sulphates, COD, and phosphates, respectively, while the syndicate showed the highest percentage reduction of 87.4% and 70.2% for nitrate and total dissolve solid (TDS), respectively. The least percentage decrease was displayed by syndicate organisms at 51.2%, 48.1% and 40.3% for BOD, COD and conductivity, respectively. The study revealed that Saccharomycescerevisiae and Torulasporadelbrueckii could be used in the biological treatment of tannery-effluent. Hence, it was concluded that the use of these organisms could contribute to minimizing the adverse environmental risks and health-hazards associated with the disposal of untreated tannery-effluents. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Fate and Transport of Contaminants in Soil and Groundwater Systems)
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Article
Groundwater Contamination by Uranium and Mercury at the Ridaura Aquifer (Girona, NE Spain)
Toxics 2016, 4(3), 16; https://doi.org/10.3390/toxics4030016 - 16 Aug 2016
Cited by 6 | Viewed by 2635
Abstract
Elevated concentrations of uranium and mercury have been detected in drinking water from public supply and agricultural wells in alluvial and granitic aquifers of the Ridaura basin located at Catalan Coastal Ranges (CCR). The samples showed high concentrations of U above the U.S. [...] Read more.
Elevated concentrations of uranium and mercury have been detected in drinking water from public supply and agricultural wells in alluvial and granitic aquifers of the Ridaura basin located at Catalan Coastal Ranges (CCR). The samples showed high concentrations of U above the U.S. standards and the World Health Organization regulations which set a maximum value of 30 µg/L. Further, high mercury concentrations above the European Drinking Water Standards (1 μg/L) were found. Spatial distribution of U in groundwater and geochemical evolution of groundwater suggest that U levels appear to be highest in granitic areas where groundwater has long residence times and a significant salinity. The presence of high U concentrations in alluvial groundwater samples could be associated with hydraulic connection through fractures between the alluvial system and deep granite system. According to this model, oxidizing groundwater moving through fractures in the leucocratic/biotitic granite containing anomalous U contents are the most likely to acquire high levels of U. The distribution of Hg showed concentrations above 1 μg/L in 10 alluvial samples, mainly located near the limit of alluvial aquifer with igneous rocks, which suggests a possible migration of Hg from granitic materials. Also, some samples showed Hg concentrations comprised between 0.9 and 1.5 μg/L, from wells located in agricultural areas. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Fate and Transport of Contaminants in Soil and Groundwater Systems)
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Review

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Review
Impact of Spent Mushroom Substrates on the Fate of Pesticides in Soil, and Their Use for Preventing and/or Controlling Soil and Water Contamination: A Review
Toxics 2016, 4(3), 17; https://doi.org/10.3390/toxics4030017 - 17 Aug 2016
Cited by 24 | Viewed by 3005
Abstract
Intensive crop production involves a high consumption of pesticides. This is a cause of major environmental concern because the presence of pesticides in water is becoming increasingly common. Physicochemical methods based on soil modification with organic residues have been developed to enhance the [...] Read more.
Intensive crop production involves a high consumption of pesticides. This is a cause of major environmental concern because the presence of pesticides in water is becoming increasingly common. Physicochemical methods based on soil modification with organic residues have been developed to enhance the immobilization and/or degradation of pesticides in agricultural soils, which may control both the diffuse and the point pollution of soils and waters. This review summarizes the influence of spent mushroom substrate (SMS) on the environmental fate of pesticides when both are simultaneously applied in agriculture. The processes of adsorption, leaching and dissipation of these compounds in SMS-amended soils were evaluated at laboratory and field scale. Relationships were established between the experimental parameters obtained and the properties of the soils, the SMS, and the pesticides in order to determine the effect that the application of SMS in agricultural soils has on the environmental impact of pesticides. Accordingly, this review highlights the use of SMS as a strategy for the prevention and/or control of soil and water contamination by pesticides to strike a balance between agricultural development and the use of these compounds. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Fate and Transport of Contaminants in Soil and Groundwater Systems)
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