Phytotoxicity Testing Procedures and Their Implications for Proposed Extraction Technique of Industrial Wastes
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Phytotoxicity is the treatment of plants with substances to evaluate potential hazard to living systems. The Environmental Protection Agency has recently proposed a number of tests, including phytotoxicity, to evaluate landfills and their potential in harming the environment through groundwater contamination. Rain water and liquid wastes tend to extract or leach organics and inorganics from solid landfill wastes, which percolate through the soil into the ground. To determine if this water could still be used to irrigate crops, the EPA has proposed methods for evaluating phytotoxicity. The aim of this project was to examine the proposed EPA phytotoxicity methods and to initiate additions and modifications if necessary. A second aim was to evaluate extraction procedures to duplicate the leaching of landfill wastes. The results indicated possible changes to improve current phytotoxicity testing, such as long term growth assays and soil attenuation tests. From the results of the phytotoxicity testing and analysis of extracts, it was suggested that water extraction procedures also be utilized.