Soil Trigger Values For the Transfer Path Soil-Plant to Assure the Quality of Food and Feed According to the German Soil Protection Act

Konstantin Terytze and Kathrin Werner

Federal Environmental Agency, Berlin, Germany

Corresponding author: Kathrin Werner
    Federal Environmental Agency
    Postfach 330022
    14191 Berlin, Germany
    Telephone: (+49) 30 8903 3786
    Fax number: (+381) 30 8903

CEJOEM 2004, Vol.10. No.1.: 6067

Key words:
Trigger values, quality of food and feed, soil-plant transfer, organic pollutants, soil protection, toxicity, maximum tolerable soil concentration

= Acceptable Daily Intake
= Dichlorodiphenyltrichloroethane
= Hexachlorobenzene
= Hexachlorocyclohexane
= Hazard Factor
= Lowest Observed Adverse Effect Level
= Maximum Residue Level
= No Observed Adverse Effect Level
= Pentachlorophenol
= Safety Factor

Soil trigger values are an important instrument to realise the requirements given by the German Federal Soil Protection Act. The trigger values, if exceeded, indicate that investigation is required to determine whether a harmful soil change or site contamination exists, taking into account the relevant soil use. Trigger values can be derived to protect the human health, quality of food and feed, and groundwater. The procedure to derive trigger values to assure the quality of food and feed comprises the consideration of maximum residue levels in/on plants, the quantitative description of soil-plant transfer and the derivation of a maximum acceptable soil content, a plausibility check, and the final stipulation of trigger values. Such trigger values for soils in agricultural and horticultural use have already been derived for the heavy metals lead, mercury, thallium as well as arsenic. For organic substances trigger values only exist for benzo(a)pyrene. The other organic substances, which are of relevance because of their toxic, mutagenic, theratogenic, and cancerogenic potential, have been chosen. The derivation of trigger values of those substances of priority is under way. Further necessary steps are the harmonization with the EC Regulation (466/2001) setting maximum levels for certain contaminants in foodstuffs.

Received: 6 February 2004
Accepted: 16 February 2004

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