Activated sludge biodegradation test as a screening method to evaluate persistence of pesticides in soil

V. Leoni, C. Cremisini, R. Giovinazzo, G. Puccetti, M. Vitali

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The effectiveness of the activated sludge (collected from a purification plant for the sewage of the city of Rome) has been studied with regard to the biodegradation of nine pesticides (lindane, captan, atrazine, simazine, deltamethrin, chlorpyriphos, azinphos-methyl, bromophos and melathion) representative of some types of products available on the Italian market, and one other product (hexachlorobenzene), no longer used as a pesticide in Italy, but present in the Italian environment. Relative to the reaction time (3, 6 or 9 h) with the activated sludge, the highest biodegradation occurred for captan (100%) and malathion (93.1%) and the lowest for hexachlorobenzene (14.2%) and lindane (4%). In order to evaluate the possibility of using this biodegradation test as a screening test for a rapid assessment of persistence in soil of a new product, data obtained were compared with those reported in literature on the persistence of pesticides in the soil. The two series of data were plotted together in a diagram and they revealed an exponential relationship for eight of the pesticides out of the total tested. The authors report the pertinent mathematical elaboration. © 1992.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)279 - 289
Number of pages11
JournalScience of the Total Environment
Issue numberC
Publication statusPublished - 12 Aug 1992
Externally publishedYes


All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Environmental Engineering
  • Environmental Chemistry
  • Waste Management and Disposal
  • Pollution

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