Journal article

Organic pollutants in compost and digestate. Part 2. Polychlorinated dibenzo-p-dioxins, and -furans, dioxin-like polychlorinated biphenyls, brominated flame retardants, perfluorinated alkyl substances, pesticides, and other compounds

Compost and digestate are important recycling fertilizers and have beneficial effects on soil parameters. However, they can contain significant amounts of organic pollutants. Here, the first comprehensive data set on dibenzo-p-dioxins and -furans ( PCDD/F), dioxin-like polychlorinated biphenyls ( DL-PCB), brominated flame retardants, perfluorinated alkyl substances ( PFAS), pesticides, phthalates, nonylphenol and chlorinated paraffins ( CP) in source-separated compost and digestate from Switzerland is presented ( n = 3-18). The median Sigma 17PCDD/ F and Sigma 12DL-PCB concentrations were at 3.2 ng I-TEQ kg(dry)(-1) (weight (dw)) and 3.0 ng WHO-TEQ kg(dw)(-1), respectively. Brominated diphenyl ether 209 ( BDE 209) accounted for 72% of the total polyBDE content ( 10 mu g kg(dw)(-1)). Hexabromocyclododecane ( HBCD) and tetrabromobisphenol A ( TBBPA) levels were at 100 and 0.51 mg kg(dw)(-1), respectively. PFAS were identified for the first time in compost and digestate ( median concentration 6.3 mu g kg(dw)(-1), P21compounds). Out of 269 pesticides analysed, 30 fungicides, 14 herbicides, eight insecticides and one acaricide were detected. Di( 2-ethylhexyl) phthalate ( DEHP) median concentration accounted for 280 mg kg(dw)(-1), and nonylphenol was below the detection limit of 1 mg kg(dw)(-1). The sum of short and medium chain CP was between 90 and 390 mg kg(dw)(-1.) The concentrations observed were at or above the levels found in background soils, which are the main recipient of compost and digestate. Where actually applied, compost can contribute considerably to the total input of organic pollutants to the soil. However, on a total Swiss agricultural area base, inputs seem to be limited.


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