contaminated soil research News

  • Predicting amount of oil in contaminated soils

    Scientists are reporting a new technique for mapping and testing oil-contaminated soils. Traditionally, samples need to be collected from the field and returned to a lab for extensive chemical analysis, costing time and money when neither is readily available during a clean-up operation. The new method can take measurements in the field and accurately predict the total amount of petroleum ...

  • Soil and sediment contamination assessment more accurate, says researcher

    Prolonged exposure of soil and sediment invertebrates to toxic Polycyclic Aromatic Compounds (PACs) has large and unpredictable effects on the life cycle of these species, concludes Dutch researcher Miriam León Paumen. These chronic effects can be very different from the effects of short-term exposure to PACs. Therefore, assessments of soil and sediment contamination are more reliable when they ...

  • `Green Clean:` Researchers determining natural ways to clean contaminated soil

    Researchers at North Carolina State University are working to demonstrate that trees can be used to degrade or capture fuels that leak into soil and ground water. Through a process called phytoremediation – literally a “green” technology – plants and trees remove pollutants from the environment or render them harmless. Through a partnership with state and federal government agencies, the military ...


    By ScienceDaily

  • Soil contamination test improved with worms

    A Dutch researcher has discovered that exposing soil and sediment invertebrates like worms and springtails to toxic chemicals can give a more accurate test of soil contamination. Dr Miriam Leon Paumen also found that prolonged exposure can have a significant impact on the lifecycle of these invertebrates. The findings of this research give weight to the theory that gradual effects cannot be ...

  • Evaluating risks from contaminated soil: a standardised approach

    Soil plays an important role, as a habitat capable of recycling water, carbon and nutrients and a provider of food and raw materials. Research investigating the risk assessment procedures adopted in different EU member states, suggests that there needs to be greater standardisation in the methods of assessing risks from contaminated soils. In 2005, the European Commission Joint Research Centre ...

  • Better detection of mercury contamination developed by researchers

    Mercury contamination has a negative impact on both the environment and human health. Researchers have developed a simple visual technique that will make detecting mercury pollution much easier. Mercury poses an international threat, as it can be transported through the air and through the food chain, especially via fish. It is mainly used in thermometers, barometers, dental fillings and ...

  • With proper care, contaminated urban soils are safe for gardening

    A six-year study by Kansas State University researchers indicates that crops grown in contaminated urban soils present little to no risk for people eating those crops when gardeners have followed best practices. The findings are significant for urban and suburban gardeners, who according to a 2012 estimate from the U.S. Department of Agriculture, provide about 15 percent of the world's food, ...


    By Kansas State University

  • Willow trees are cost-efficient cleaners of contaminated soil

    Using broad-leaved trees such as willow trees in the phytoremediation of contaminated soils constitutes a cost-efficient method for restoring mining areas and landfills, according to a research project led by the University of Eastern Finland. Funded by the EU, the project studied willow tree growth in contaminated soils in Finland and Russia. "This is a cost-efficient solution for ...


  • Land use affects potential health risks of cadmium and lead soil contaminants

    Exposure to polluted soil can affect human health, but the risk may vary depending on the soil type. A recent study has shown that the differing amounts of cadmium and lead that can be dissolved in the human digestive system can be predicted for contaminated agricultural, urban and woody habitat soils using a model. Its authors suggest this is a useful method for assessing the risks of ...

  • Shedding a light on contaminants

    Name a current environmental challenge. Global climate change? Loss of endangered species? What about soil contamination? Soil pollution rarely makes headlines, though it is a prevalent global issue. According to the European Environment Agency, 39 member states in Europe had over 2.5 million contaminated soil sites in 2011. Sharon O’Rourke, researcher at University ...

  • Soil protection

    On 13 September, MEP Cristina Gutiérrez-Cortines presented the draft directive on soil protection to members of the European Parliament's ITRE committee (Industry, technology, research and energy). Ecological NGOs present at the meeting were not reassured. 'We are disappointed with it. This directive is in danger, when it could be an essential lever for a genuine policy on soil protection on a ...


  • Tungsten groundwater contamination

    Originally thought to be non-toxic, tungsten is replacing lead in fishing weights and in ammunition for hunting and recreational shooting. However, recent studies indicate that (under certain environmental conditions) some forms of tungsten can move readily through soil and leach into groundwater. A Kansas State University scientist investigates. Tungsten is a naturally occurring metallic element ...


  • Research shows efficiency of Huelva-grown shrub in recovery of polluted soil

    Researchers of the University of Seville and IRNASE (Institute of Natural Resources and Agrobiology), of the Spanish National Research Council (CSIC) have verified in controlled trials the efficiency of Erica andevalensis, or heather from Andévalo -- an endemic shrub from the province of Huelva and the Portuguese area of the Alentejo -- in the recovery of soils contaminated with heavy metals. ...


    By ScienceDaily

  • Identifying areas at risk for arsenic contamination

    The contamination of groundwater with arsenic poses a risk to the health of millions of people, especially in the densely populated river deltas of Southeast Asia. To date, no method has been available for identifying high-risk areas without conducting costly sampling campaigns. Now, Eawag has developed a model that allows vulnerable areas to be pinpointed using existing data on geology and soil ...

  • Drinking water wells vulnerable to contamination

    New USGS groundwater studies explain what, when, and how contaminants may reach public-supply wells. All wells are not equally vulnerable to contamination because of differences in three factors: the general chemistry of the aquifer, groundwater age, and direct paths within aquifer systems that allow water and contaminants to reach a well. More than 100 million people in the United States ...


  • Encouraging results in evaluating groundwater contaminants

    The widespread use of pesticides across the United States has been in practice for decades, with little knowledge of the long-term effects on the nation’s groundwater. The results of a new study show that samples taken from over 300 wells across the US have not retained a high concentration of pesticide contamination. The news is a result of a decadal long study to assess the extent of the ...

  • Soil management in China and the EU

    Following rapid urbanisation, management of contaminated soil has become a political priority in China. In this study, researchers reviewed the current system in China as compared to Europe and provide recommendations for the sustainable management of soil. China’s rapid economic growth, and the accompanied urbanisation, has come at a considerable cost to the environment. In the late 1990s, ...

  • WaterRF initiates perchlorate research

    The Water Research Foundation (WaterRF, USA) is funding a special project to assess the current state of science related to perchlorate treatment technologies and regulations in the United States. The Foundation's new research anticipates new regulations from the US Environmental Protection Agency regulating perchlorate in drinking water. Perchlorate is a chemical primarily used in the ...


  • What`s in your soil?

    The latest in modern soil mineralogical methods is now available from the Soil Science Society of America (SSSA) in their new monograph Methods of Soil Analysis. Part 5. Mineralogical Methods (2008). The new edition reflects improvements in old techniques and presents new techniques and instrumentation with more quantitative analysis, giving students and scientists established methods for ...


  • Measuring global soil changes

    Global change is increasingly affecting important terrestrial ecosystem functions such as the filtering and buffering capacity of soils, the supply of clean water, soil fertility, and consequently, the production of food, feed, and fiber. Recent studies and reports from the United Nations indicate that water and soil resources are both heavily under pressure. Worldwide about 2 billion ha of land ...

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