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Phytotoxicity and uptake of nitroglycerin in a natural sandy loam soil

NRC Biotechnology Research Institute; National Research Council Canada
Published in:
Science of the Total Environment
Pages :
NPArC #:
Nitroglycerin; Plant toxicity; Soil; Uptake; Biotransformation
Nitroglycerin (NG) is widely used for the production of explosives and solid propellants, and is a soil contaminant of concern at some military training ranges. NG phytotoxicity data reported in the literature cannot be applied directly to development of ecotoxicological benchmarks for plant exposures in soil because they were determined in studies using hydroponic media, cell cultures, and transgenic plants. Toxicities of NG in the present studies were evaluated for alfalfa (Medicago sativa), barnyard grass (Echinochloa crusgalli), and ryegrass (Lolium perenne) exposed to NG in Sassafras sandy loam soil. Uptake and degradation of NG were also evaluated in ryegrass. The median effective concentration values for shoot growth ranged from 40 to 231 mg kg- 1 in studies with NG freshly amended in soil, and from 23 to 185 mg kg- 1 in studies with NG weathered-and-aged in soil. Weathering-and-aging NG in soil did not significantly affect the toxicity based on 95 percent confidence intervals for either seedling emergence or plant growth endpoints. Uptake studies revealed that NG was not accumulated in ryegrass but was transformed into dinitroglycerin in the soil and roots, and was subsequently translocated into the ryegrass shoots. The highest bioconcentration factors for dinitroglycerin of 685 and 40 were determined for roots and shoots, respectively. Results of these studies will improve our understanding of toxicity and bioconcentration of NG in terrestrial plants and will contribute to ecological risk assessment of NG-contaminated sites.
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