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ARS Home » Plains Area » Lincoln, Nebraska » Agroecosystem Management Research » Research » Publications at this Location » Publication #269728

Title: Synthetic organic chemicals in earthworms from agriculture soil amended with municipal biosolids

item HAMLETT, PAMELA - Texas Parks And Wildlife
item Arnold, Jeffrey
item Johnson, Mari-Vaughn
item Jin, Virginia

Submitted to: American Society for Mass Spectrometry
Publication Type: Abstract Only
Publication Acceptance Date: 3/10/2010
Publication Date: 4/15/2010
Citation: Hamlett, P., Arnold, J.G., Johnson, M., Jin, V.L. 2010. Synthetic organic chemicals in earthworms from agriculture soil amended with municipal biosolids. American Society for Mass Spectrometry. Available:

Interpretive Summary:

Technical Abstract: Introduction: Biosolids resulting from municipal wastewater treatment are known to contain residues of pharmaceuticals, personal care products (PPCPs) and other synthetic organic compounds. Many of these are contaminants of emerging concern for their potential endocrine disruption of fish and wildlife. Composting biosolids allows municipalities to cost-effectively turn a waste product into a marketable product and biosolids are commonly used as fertilizer on agricultural land. To help understand the environmental fate of PPCPs, earthworms are useful test organisms as they are known to accumulate PPCPs. This study examines the tissue uptake of PPCPs by earthworms in fields having various biosolid application rates. At the study site, biosolids have been applied since 2001 at 0, 10, 20, or 30 dry tons/acre/year. Methods: Earthworms were collected and placed in glass jars with PTFE lined lids. The worms were rinsed using DI water, allowed to depurate for 24 hours, re-rinsed with DI water, placed into clean jars, and stored at -40° until extracted. Non-Polar PPCPs were extracted using accelerated solvent extraction (). Each sample was extracted twice; first extraction 50:50 isopropanol:water mixture at 120° and 2000 psi followed by 80:20 isopropanol:water at 200° and 2000psi. The combined extracts were loaded onto a polystyrene-divinylbenzene SPE cartridge. The SPE cartridge was stacked on top of a Florisil cartridge and sodium sulfate cartridge. The stack was eluted with three 10-mL aliquots of 80:20 dichloromethane:diethyl ether. The eluent was evaporated to 1mL and analyzed using GC-MS. Preliminary Data: Using Tandem Mass Spectrometry for identification and quantitation, the following compounds were detected: Acetophenone, benzophenone, indole, 4-n-octylphenol, phenol, tributyl phosphate and triclosan. Novel Aspect: This study quantifies the uptake of synthetic organic chemicals (PPCP) in earthworms exposed to different concentrations of biosolids.