Wiles, Melinda Christine (2004-08). Chemical and biological methods for the analysis and remediation of environmental contaminants frequently identified at Superfund sites. Doctoral Dissertation. Thesis uri icon


  • Substantial environmental contamination has occurred from coal tar creosote and pentachlorophenol (C5P) in wood preserving solutions. The present studies focused on the characterization and remediation of these contaminants. The first objective was to delineate a sequence of biological changes caused by chlorinated phenol (CP) exposure. In Clone 9 cells, short-term exposure to 10 ?M C5P decreased pH, GJIC, and GSH, and increased ROS generation. Long-term exposure caused mitochondrial membrane depolarization (25 ?M), increased intracellular Ca2+ (50 ?M), and plasma membrane depolarization (100 ?M). Cells were affected similarly by C5P or 2,3,4,5-C4P, and similarly by 2,3,5-C3P or 3,5-C2P. Endpoints were affected by dose, time, and the number of chlorine substituents on specific congeners. Thus, this information may be used to identify and quantify unknown CPs in a mixture to be remediated. Due to the toxic effects observed due to CP exposure in vitro, the objective of the second study was to develop multi-functional sorbents to remediate CPs and other components of wood preserving waste from groundwater. Cetylpyridinium-exchanged low pH montmorillonite clay (CP-LPHM) was bonded to either sand (CP-LPHM/sand) or granular activated carbon (CP-LPHM/GAC). Laboratory studies utilizing aqueous solution derived from wood preserving waste indicated that 3:2 CP-LPHM/GAC and CP-LPHM/sand were the most effective formulations. In situ elution of oil-water separator effluent indicated that both organoclay-containing composites have a high capacity for contaminants identified in wood preserving waste, in particular high molecular weight and carcinogenic PAHs. Further, GAC did not add substantial sorptive capacity to the composite formulation. Following water remediation, the final aim of this work was to explore the safety of the parent clay minerals as potential enterosorbents for contaminants ingested in water and food. Calcium montmorillonite and sodium montmorillonite clays were added to the balanced diet of Sprague-Dawley rats throughout pregnancy. Based on evaluations of toxicity and neutron activation analysis of tissues, no significant differences were observed between animals receiving clay supplements and control animals, with the exception of slightly decreased brain Rb in animals ingesting clay. Overall, the results suggest that neither clay mineral, at relatively high dietary concentrations, influences mineral uptake or utilization in the pregnant rat.

publication date

  • August 2004