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Soil Physicochemical and Biological Interfacial Processes Governing the Fate of Anthropogenic Organic Pollutants

Authored by: Kun Yang , Baoshan Xing

Handbook of Soil Sciences Resource Management and Environmental Impacts

Print publication date:  November  2011
Online publication date:  November  2011

Print ISBN: 9781439803073
eBook ISBN: 9781439803080
Adobe ISBN:


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Anthropogenic organic pollutants (AOPs) may be defined as any organic chemical that is foreign to the natural ecosystem, which is released into the natural ecosystem by human activities and may pose adverse effects, either directly or indirectly, on humans and/or other organisms, and on the natural physical, chemical, and biological equilibrium/processes in the environment. Mostly, AOPs are commonly produced and used for the rapid industrialization in agriculture and expansion in various other industries. Emissions of these harmful AOPs have led to local and global deterioration of the environment when they have accumulated in air, water, sediments, soils, and biota, including man (Schwarzenbach et al., 2003). Most of these compounds are hydrophobic organic compounds (HOCs), having attracted a great deal of research interest for more than three decades because of their persistence in the environment and tendency to bioaccumulate. “Hydrophobic” means low water solubility, which is a major factor of HOCs affecting their fate in the environment (Stokes et al., 2006).

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