BACKGROUND : Persistent organic contaminants such as dichlorodiphenyltrichloroethane (DDT) are often found in agricultural soils decades after it was banned in Korea. This study uses hemoglobin and hemoglobin-containing blood meal to reduce the residual DDT in soil.
METHODS AND RESULTS : Hemoglobin or blood meal with or without hydrogen peroxide (H2O2) was mixed with the DDT-spiked soil prepared for this study, and samples were taken over 14 d-degradation period to measure the residual DDT concentrations. With only hemoglobin, DDT was completely removed after 14 d, while with both hemoglobin and H2O2, 73%, on average, removal was observed. Similarly, the blood meal removed 73% of DDT, but with H2O2, the DDT removal was only 39%. The lower DDT removal in the presence of H2O2 can be attributed to the adverse effects of reactive species. Hemoglobin was more effective than blood meal for DDT removal in a given time; however, with additional blood meal injection, complete DDT removal was achieved.
CONCLUSION : Overall, this study shows that the blood meal that is used as a fertilizer can potentially be used to remove residual contaminants such as DDT in agricultural soil.