S.B. Ryu1, L.C. Davis1, J. Dana1, K. Selk1, and L.E. Erickson2, Departments of 1Biochemistry and 2Chemical Engineering, Kansas State University, Manhattan, KS, 66506, Phone: 913-532-6124, FAX: 913-532-7278

ABSTRACT Trichloroethylene (TCE) exposure of several species of plants was studied. Although earlier studies indicated that the root systems of plants could tolerate an aqueous phase concentration of 1 mM for a day, toxicity to whole plants was observed at somewhat lower levels in the gas phase in this study. The tested species included pumpkin (Cucurbita maxima), tomato (Lycopersicon esculentum), sweet potato (Dioscoria batata), tobacco (Nicotiana tabacum), soybean (Glycine max L. Merr), and alfalfa (Medicago sativa). Damage was observable as wilting or failure of the gravitropic response of shoots at levels above about 0.2 mM in the gas phase, which corresponds to 0.5 mM in the aqueous phase. Plants were usually killed quickly at gas phase concentrations above 0.4 mM.

KEYWORDS: trichloroethylene, toxicity, gas phase

This paper is from the Proceedings of the HSRC/WERC Joint Conference on the Environment, May 1996, published in hard copy and on the Web by the Great Plains/Rocky Mountain Hazardous Substance Research Center.

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