Meta-analysis of biosolid effects on persistence of triclosan and triclocarban in soil

Qiuguo Fu, Edmond Sanganyado, Qingfu Ye, Jay Gan

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

37 Citations (Scopus)


Biosolids are extensively used in agriculture as fertilizers while offering a practical solution for waste disposal. Many pharmaceutical and personal care products (PPCPs), such as triclosan and triclocarban, are enriched in biosolids. Biosolid amendment changes soil physicochemical properties, which may in turn alter the persistence of PPCPs and hence the risk for secondary contamination such as plant uptake. To delineate the effect of biosolids on PPCPs persistence, triclosan and triclocarban were used as model compounds in this study and their sorption (Kd) and persistence (t1/2) were determined in different soils before and after biosolid amendment. Biosolids consistently increased sorption of triclosan and triclocarban in soil. The Kd of triclosan increased by 3.9–21 times following amendment of a sandy loam soil with biosolids at 2–10%. The persistence of both compounds was prolonged, with t1/2 of triclosan increasing from 10 d in the unamended soil to 63 d after biosolid amendment at 10%. The relationship between t1/2 and Kd was further examined through a meta-analysis using data from this study and all relevant published studies. A significant linear relationship between t1/2 and Kd was observed for triclosan (r2 = 0.69, p < 0.01) and triclocarban (r2 = 0.38, p < 0.05) in biosolid-amended soils. On the average, when biosolid amendment increased by 1%, t1/2 of triclosan was prolonged by 7.5 d, while t1/2 of triclocarban was extended by 4.7 d. Therefore, biosolid amendment greatly enhances persistence of triclosan and triclocarban, likely due to enhanced sorption or decreased chemical bioavailability. This finding highlights the importance to consider the effect of biosolids when evaluating the environmental risks of these and other biosolid-borne PPCPs.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)137-144
Number of pages8
JournalEnvironmental Pollution
Early online date18 Dec 2015
Publication statusPublished - 1 Mar 2016
Externally publishedYes


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