Document Type : Original Article


1 MA student of Environmental Health, School of Health, Shiraz University of Medical Sciences, Iran

2 Ph.D, Associate Professor of Environmental Health, School of Health, Shiraz University of Medical Sciences, Iran.

3 Instructor of Environmental Health, School of Health, Shiraz University of Medical Sciences, Iran


Background: Pyrene is one of the polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons that has carcinogenic, mutagenic and teratogenic effects for living organisms. Landfill leachate is another environmental pollutant that covers a wide range of pollutants, especially heavy metals. The simultaneous presence of two types of pollutants with organic and inorganic structures can increase their toxicity.
Methods:  In this experimental study, the single and simultaneous effect of Landfill leachate and pyrene on plant growth parameters and the number of heterotrophic soil bacteria was investigated. The study was conducted for 90 days at concentrations of 150, 300, 500, 750 and 1000 mg/kg-1 of pyrene and percentages 0, 30, 50, 70 and 100% of landfill leachate.
Results: The results showed that after 90 days, the highest dry stem and root biomass were obtained in irrigation treatment with pyrene and Landfill leachate (Blank)-non-contaminated municipal water with quantities of 8.2 and 3.5 g, respectively; moreover, the lowest stem and root biomass related to the treatment were observed in the simultaneous presence of 30% leachate and pyrene with a concentration of 300 mg/kg-1 with quantities of 5 and 1.8 g, respectively. Leachate did not produce any biological toxicity at any of the surfaces used, but the use of pyrene at concentrations of 1500 mg/kg-1 and above reduced the number of heterotrophic bacteria. Conclusion: According to the  results, the simultaneous presence of the two pollutants, pyrene and leachate, exacerbates the phytotoxicity due to possible interactions between them. Pyrene as a carbon source is decomposed by bacteria at low concentrations, but it inhibits metabolism and growth at high concentrations.


1.         Flores R, García M, Peralta-Hernández J, Hernández-Ramírez A, Méndez E, Bustos E. Electro-remediation in the presence of ferrous sulfate as an ex-situ alternative treatment for hydrocarbon polluted soil. Int J Electrochem Sci. 2012;7:2230-9.
2.         Gan S, Lau E, Ng H. Remediation of soils contaminated with polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs). Journal of hazardous materials. 2009;172(2-3):532-49.
3.         Posada-Baquero R, Ortega-Calvo J-J. Recalcitrance of polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons in soil contributes to background pollution. Environmental pollution. 2011;159(12):3692-9.
4.         Monavari M, OMRANI GA, Ghanbari F. Study of Landfill leachate pollution of Rasht City. 2017.
5.         Bouzayani F, Aydi A, Abichou T. Soil contamination by heavy metals in landfills: measurements from an unlined leachate storage basin. Environmental monitoring and assessment. 2014;186(8):5033-40.
6.         Thavamani P, Malik S, Beer M, Megharaj M, Naidu R. Microbial activity and diversity in long-term mixed contaminated soils with respect to polyaromatic hydrocarbons and heavy metals. Journal of environmental management. 2012;99:10-7.
7.         Clément B, Merlin G. The contribution of ammonia and alkalinity to landfill leachate toxicity to duckweed. Science of the Total Environment. 1995;170(1-2):71-9.
8.         Rostami S, Azhdarpoor A, Rostami M, Samaei MR. The effects of simultaneous application of plant growth regulators and bioaugmentation on improvement of phytoremediation of pyrene contaminated soils. Chemosphere. 2016;161:219-23.
9.         Rand M, Greenberg AE, Taras MJ. Standard methods for the examination of water and wastewater: Prepared and published jointly by American Public Health Association …; 1976.
10.       Sun Y, Zhou Q, Xu Y, Wang L, Liang X. Phytoremediation for co-contaminated soils of benzo [a] pyrene (B [a] P) and heavy metals using ornamental plant Tagetes patula. Journal of Hazardous Materials. 2011;186(2-3):2075-82.
11.       Ahmad S, Ahsan-ul-Haq, Yousaf M, Kamran Z, Ata-ur-Rehman, Sohail M, et al. Effect of feeding whole linseed as a source of polyunsaturated fatty acids on performance and egg characteristics of laying hens kept at high ambient temperature. Brazilian Journal of Poultry Science. 2013;15:21-5.
12.       Azevedo Neto ADd, Prisco JT, Enéas-Filho J, Lacerda CFd, Silva JV, Costa PHAd, et al. Effects of salt stress on plant growth, stomatal response and solute accumulation of different maize genotypes. Brazilian Journal of Plant Physiology. 2004;16(1):31-8.
13.       Panda S, Choudhury S. Chromium stress in plants. Brazilian journal of plant physiology. 2005;17(1):95-102.
14.       Nagajyoti PC, Lee KD, Sreekanth T. Heavy metals, occurrence and toxicity for plants: a review. Environmental chemistry letters. 2010;8(3):199-216.
15.       Ouzounidou G, Čiamporová M, Moustakas M, Karataglis S. Responses of maize (Zea mays L.) plants to copper stress—I. Growth, mineral content and ultrastructure of roots. Environmental and experimental botany. 1995;35(2):167-76.
16.       Chaoui A, El Ferjani E. Effects of cadmium and copper on antioxidant capacities, lignification and auxin degradation in leaves of pea (Pisum sativum L.) seedlings. Comptes rendus biologies. 2005;328(1):23-31.
17.       Chigbo C, Batty L. Effect of combined pollution of chromium and benzo (a) pyrene on seed growth of Lolium perenne. Chemosphere. 2013;90(2):164-9.
18.       Smreczak B, Maliszewska-Kordybach B. Seeds germination and root growth of selected plants in PAH contaminated soil. Fresenius Environmental Bulletin. 2003;12(8):946-9.
19.       Masakorala K, Yao J, Guo H, Chandankere R, Wang J, Cai M, et al. Phytotoxicity of long-term total petroleum hydrocarbon-contaminated soil—a comparative and combined approach. Water, Air, & Soil Pollution. 2013;224(5):1553.
20.       Chaineau C, Morel J-L, Oudot J. Phytotoxicity and plant uptake of fuel oil hydrocarbons. Journal of Environmental Quality. 1997;26(6):1478-83.
21.       Li X, Feng Y, Sawatsky N. Importance of soil-water relations in assessing the endpoint of bioremediated soils. Plant and Soil. 1997;192(2):219-26.
22.       Lin Q, Shen K-L, Zhao H-M, Li W-H. Growth response of Zea mays L. in pyrene–copper co-contaminated soil and the fate of pollutants. Journal of Hazardous Materials. 2008;150(3):515-21.
23.       Matejczyk M, Płaza GA, Nałęcz-Jawecki G, Ulfig K, Markowska-Szczupak A. Estimation of the environmental risk posed by landfills using chemical, microbiological and ecotoxicological testing of leachates. Chemosphere. 2011;82(7):1017-23.
24.       Lu M, Xu K, Chen J. Effect of pyrene and cadmium on microbial activity and community structure in soil. Chemosphere. 2013;91(4):491-7.
25.       Hollender J, Althoff K, Mundt M, Dott W. Assessing the microbial activity of soil samples, its nutrient limitation and toxic effects of contaminants using a simple respiration test. Chemosphere. 2003;53(3):269-75.
26.       Shirdam R, Zand A, Bidhendi G, Mehrdadi N. Phytoremediation of hydrocarbon-contaminated soils with emphasis on the effect of petroleum hydrocarbons on the growth of plant species. Phytoprotection. 2008;89(1):21-9.
27.       Berg G, Smalla K. Plant species and soil type cooperatively shape the structure and function of microbial communities in the rhizosphere. FEMS microbiology ecology. 2009;68(1):1-13.