Phytoremediation of emerging contaminants: Uptake, metabolism and toxicity
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Emerging Contaminants (ECs) such as pharmaceuticals, personal care products and disinfection by-products (DBPs) attracted heightened attention recently due to their potential or proven carcinogenic effects on human beings. Once released into the environment, these compounds will interact with trees and grasses widespread on the surface of earth. The plant-contaminant interactions have caused great concerns about the potential toxicity of these contaminants to plants, their bioaccumulation in plant tissues and entrance into food chains through human consumption of agricultural crops and vegetables. On the other hand, active interactions between plants and emerging contaminants provide great opportunities for environmental scientists and engineers to utilize plants to remediate contaminated sites by emerging contaminants. The technology to use plants to remediate contaminated soils/sediments and groundwater is called phytoremediation. The goal of this chapter is to present an overview and discussion of the toxicity, uptake and bioaccumulation of several emerging contaminants in plant tissues and phytoremediation of these emerging contaminants. The emphasis will be primarily on perchlorate, 1,4-dioxane, N-nitrosodimethylamine (DMNA) and 4,4- isopropylidenediphenol (bisphenol A or BPA) because they are among the most prevalent and most concerned emerging contaminants in the environment. © 2009 by Nova Science Publishers, Inc. All rights reserved.
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