Submitted to: Soil Science Society of America Special Publication Book Chapter
Publication Type: Book / Chapter
Publication Acceptance Date: December 30, 1996
Publication Date: N/A
Contamination of soil with organic chemicals can lead to reduced soil quality. The activity of soil microorganisms, roots and worms may be reduced by toxic contaminants. In addition, these compounds may be accumulated by plants or transported to surface or ground water. Organic chemicals found in soil include pesticides, PCB, PAH, chlorinated solvents and petroleum hydrocarbons. These contaminants arise from industrial or agricultural sources. Measurement of organic chemicals in soil involves chemical methods, beginning with extraction from the soil. Following extraction, GS or HPLC procedures provide quantitative analysis. Alternatively, immunoassay or bioassay procedures may be used. Assessment of soil quality requires interpretation of organic chemical residue measurements. Standardized regulations regarding chemical concentrations in soils have not been developed. The risk of human exposure to a particular compound is a function of its potential entry into drinking water supplies or the food chain.