Impact of metals on the biodegradation of organic pollutants

Todd Sandrin, Raina M. Maier

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

226 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Forty percent of hazardous waste sites in the United States are co-contaminated with organic and metal pollutants. Data from both aerobic and anaerobic systems demonstrate that biodegradation of the organic component can be reduced by metal toxicity. Metal bioavailability, determined primarily by medium composition/soil type and pH, governs the extent to which metals affect biodegradation. Failure to consider bioavailability rather than total metal likely accounts for much of the enormous variability among reports of inhibitory concentrations of metals. Metals appear to affect organic biodegradation through impacting both the physiology and ecology of organic degrading microorganisms. Recent approaches to increasing organic biodegradation in the presence of metals involve reduction of metal bioavailability and include the use of metal-resistant bacteria, treatment additives, and clay minerals. The addition of divalent cations and adjustment of pH are additional strategies currently under investigation.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1093-1101
Number of pages9
JournalEnvironmental Health Perspectives
Volume111
Issue number8
StatePublished - Aug 1 2003
Externally publishedYes

Fingerprint

Organic pollutants
Biodegradation
organic pollutant
biodegradation
Metals
metal
Biological Availability
bioavailability
Hazardous Waste Sites
Divalent Cations
Physiology
Ecology
Clay minerals
hazardous waste
Microorganisms
Minerals
physiology
Toxicity
clay mineral
soil type

Keywords

  • Bioavailability
  • Biodegradation
  • Bioremediation
  • Hazardous waste
  • Heavy metals
  • Inhibition
  • Metal toxicity
  • Pollutants

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Environmental Science(all)
  • Environmental Chemistry
  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health

Cite this

Impact of metals on the biodegradation of organic pollutants. / Sandrin, Todd; Maier, Raina M.

In: Environmental Health Perspectives, Vol. 111, No. 8, 01.08.2003, p. 1093-1101.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

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