A study on temporal trends and estimates of fate of Bisphenol A in agricultural soils after sewage sludge amendment

Zulin Zhang (Lead / Corresponding author), Morgane Le Velly, Stewart M. Rhind, Carol E. Kyle, Rupert L. Hough, Elizabeth I. Duff, Craig McKenzie

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

37 Citations (Scopus)


Temporal concentration trends of BPA in soils were investigated following sewage sludge application to pasture (study 1: short term sludge application; study 2: long term multiple applications over 13years). The background levels of BPA in control soils were similar, ranging between 0.67-10.57ngg-1 (mean: 3.02ngg-1) and 0.51-6.58ngg-1 (mean: 3.22ngg-1) for studies 1 and 2, respectively. Concentrations in both treated and control plots increased over the earlier sampling times of the study to a maximum and then decreased over later sampling times, suggesting other sources of BPA to both the treated and control soils over the study period. In study 1 there was a significant treatment effect of sludge application in the autumn (p=0.002) although no significant difference was observed between treatment and control soils in the spring. In study 2 treated soils contained considerably higher BPA concentrations than controls ranging between 12.89-167.9ngg-1 (mean: 63.15ngg-1). This and earlier studies indicate the long-term accumulation of multiple contaminants by multiple sewage sludge applications over a prolonged period although the effects of the presence of such contaminant mixtures have not yet been elucidated. Fugacity modelling was undertaken to estimate partitioning of Bisphenol A (soil plus sewage: pore water: soil air partitioning) and potential uptake into a range of food crops. While Bisphenol A sorbs strongly to the sewage-amended soil, 4% by mass was predicted to enter soil pore water resulting in significant uptake by crops particularly leafy vegetables (3.12-75.5ngg-1), but also for root crops (1.28-31.0ngg-1) with much lower uptake into cereal grains (0.62-15.0ngg-1). This work forms part of a larger programme of research aimed at assessing the risks associated with the long-term application of sewage sludge to agricultural soils.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1-11
Number of pages11
JournalScience of the Total Environment
Early online date13 Feb 2015
Publication statusPublished - 5 May 2015


  • Bisphenol A
  • Modelling
  • Risk assessment
  • Sewage sludge
  • Soil
  • Temporal trend

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Environmental Engineering
  • Environmental Chemistry
  • Medicine(all)
  • Waste Management and Disposal
  • Pollution


Dive into the research topics of 'A study on temporal trends and estimates of fate of Bisphenol A in agricultural soils after sewage sludge amendment'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this