Activated carbons of varying pore structure eliminate the bioavailability of 2,3,7,8-tetrachlorodibenzo-p-dioxin to a mammalian (mouse) model

J. Brett Sallach, Robert Crawford, Hui Li, Cliff T. Johnston, Brian J. Teppen, Norbert E. Kaminski, Stephen A. Boyd*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


The use of activated carbon (AC) as an in situ sorbent amendment to sequester polychlorinated-dibenzo-p-dioxins and furans (PCDD/Fs) present in contaminated soils and sediments has recently gained attention as a novel remedial approach. This remedy could be implemented at much lower cost while minimizing habitat destruction as compared to traditional remediation technologies that rely on dredging/excavation and landfilling. Several prior studies have demonstrated the ability of AC amendments to reduce pore water concentrations and hence bioaccumulation of PCDD/Fs in invertebrate species. However, our recent study was the first to show that AC had the ability to sequester 2,3,7,8‑tetrachlorodibenzo‑p‑dioxin (TCDD) in a form that eliminated bioavailability to a mammalian (mouse) model. Here we show that three commercially available ACs, representing a wide range of pore size distributions, were equally effective in eliminating the bioavailability of TCDD based upon two sensitive bioassays, hepatic induction of cyp1A1 mRNA and immunoglobulin M antibody-forming cell response. These results provide direct evidence that a wide range of structurally diverse commercially available ACs may be suitable for use as in situ sorbent amendments to provide a cost-effective remedy for PCDD/F contaminated soils and sediments. Potentially, adaption of this technology would minimize habitat destruction and be protective of ecosystem and human health.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)2231-2238
Number of pages8
JournalScience of the Total Environment
Early online date22 Sep 2018
Publication statusPublished - 10 Feb 2019


  • Immune response
  • Remediation
  • Sorbent amendments
  • TCDD

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