Bringing bioavailability into contaminated land decision making: The way forward?

A. E. Latawiec, A. L. Swindell, P. Simmons, B. J. Reid

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

22 Citations (Scopus)


Beyond the current regulatory regime there is ongoing research into the environmental fate of pollutants that could potentially be integrated into contaminated land decision making. In an era of great demand for decision support tools it is increasingly urgent for scientists to develop reliable methodology assisting sustainable land management and for policy makers to adopt these developments. This is true notably for widespread land contamination with polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons. Recently published research on bioavailability offers complementary approach into contaminated land evaluation as well as the assistance in the development of remediation strategies. We review these studies and critically discuss the implementation of bioavailability across different disciplines within contaminated land management. We identify scientific gaps and recommend transdisciplinary research confronting key normative questions facing regulators. Discussion is presented with reference to the United Kingdom's contaminated land regime. This regime is risk based and as a consequence the general principles, concerns, and chemistry behind bioavailability processes discussed in this review are applicable to risk-based approaches elsewhere.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)52-77
Number of pages26
JournalCritical Reviews in Environmental Science and Technology
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 2011

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