STP805: Methods Using Earthworms for the Evaluation of Potentially Toxic Materials in Soils

    Neuhauser, EF
    Research associate, research support specialist, and Liberty Hyde Bailey professor of engineering, Cornell University, Ithaca, NY

    Malecki, MR
    Research associate, research support specialist, and Liberty Hyde Bailey professor of engineering, Cornell University, Ithaca, NY

    Loehr, RC
    Research associate, research support specialist, and Liberty Hyde Bailey professor of engineering, Cornell University, Ithaca, NY

    Pages: 8    Published: Jan 1983


    Abstract

    The purpose of this study was to investigate the feasibility of using earthworms to indicate effects of potentially toxic wastes when such wastes are intentionally or accidentally added to soils. Initial work with metals has shown that earthworms exhibit specific growth and reproductive responses. These responses are related to the concentration and solubility of the metal. Of the metals tested, cadmium was found to be the most toxic, followed by nickel, copper, zinc, and lead.

    The metal concentration in earthworm tissue and the background manure-metal mixture was measured, permitting the concentration factor to be computed. The concentration factor is the ratio of the metal in the worm tissue to that in the surrounding manure-metal mixture.

    These and other studies in our laboratory have demonstrated that the methods described in this paper may be used to predict the effect of land-applied or atmospherically deposited residues on the soil biota.

    Keywords:

    metals, earthworms, concentration factors, hazardous wastes, industrial wastes


    Paper ID: STP33554S

    Committee/Subcommittee: D34.09

    DOI: 10.1520/STP33554S


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