Pharmaceuticals and personal care products (PPCPs) have emerged as a group of potential environmental contaminants of concern. PPCPs in soil may enter terrestrial food webs via plant uptake. We evaluated uptake of 17α-ethynylestradiol (EE2) and triclosan in bean plants (Phaseolus vulgaris) grown in sand and soil. The extent of uptake and accumulation of EE2 and triclosan in plants grown in sand was higher than in plants grown in soil. In sand (conditions of maximum contaminant bioavailability), bioconcentration factors (BCFs) of EE2 and triclosan in roots (based on dry weights) were 1424 and 16,364, respectively, whereas BCFs in leaves were 55 for EE2 and 85 for triclosan. In soil, the BCF of EE2 decreased from 154 in the first week to 32 in the fourth week while it fluctuated in leaves from 18 to 20. The BCF for triclosan in plants grown in soil increased over time to 12 in roots and 8 in leaves. These results indicate that the potential for uptake and accumulation of PPCPs in plants exists. This trophic transfer pathway should be considered when assessing exposure to certain PPCPs, particularly with the use of recycled wastewater for irrigation.
- Bioconcentration factor (BCF)
- Plant uptake