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Title: Olive oil mill wastewaters before and after treatment: a critical review from the ecotoxicological point of view
Author: Justino, Celine I. L.
Pereira, Ruth
Freitas, Ana C.
Rocha-Santos, Teresa A. P.
Panteleitchouk, Teresa S. L.
Duarte, Armando C.
Keywords: Biological and chemical treatments
Ecotoxicological evaluation
Olive oil mill wastewater (OMW)
Soil and freshwater receiving systems
Issue Date: Mar-2012
Publisher: Springer
Abstract: The olive oil mill wastewater (OMW) is a problematic and polluting effluent which may degrade the soil and water quality, with critical negative impacts on ecosystems functions and services provided. The main purpose of this review paper is presenting the state of the art of OMW treatments focusing on their efficiency to reduce OMW toxicity, and emphasizing the role of ecotoxicological tests on the evaluation of such efficiency before the up-scale of treatment methodologies being considered. In the majority of research works, the reduction of OMW toxicity is related to the degradation of phenolic compounds (considered as the main responsible for the toxic effects of OMW on seed germination, on bacteria, and on different species of soil and aquatic invertebrates) or the decrease of chemical oxygen demand content, which is not scientifically sound. Batteries of ecotoxicological tests are not applied before and after OMW treatments as they should be, thus leading to knowledge gaps in terms of accurate and real assessment of OMW toxicity. Although the toxicity of OMW is usually high, the evaluation of effects on sub-lethal endpoints, on individual and multispecies test systems, are currently lacking, and the real impacts yielded by its dilution, in freshwater trophic chains of receiving systems can not be assessed. As far as the terrestrial compartment is considered, ecotoxicological data available include tests only with plants and the evaluation of soil microbial parameters, reflecting concerns with the impacts on crops when using OMW for irrigation purposes. The evaluation of its ecotoxicity to other edaphic species were not performed giving rise to a completely lack of knowledge about the consequences of such practice on other soil functions. OMW production is a great environmental problem in Mediterranean countries; hence, engineers, chemists and ecotoxicologists should face this problem together to find an ecologically friend solution.
Peer review: yes
DOI: 10.1007/s10646-011-0806-y
ISSN: 0963-9292
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