Evaluation of gastrointestinal solubilization of petroleum hydrocarbon residues in soil using an in vitro physiologically- based model
Petroleum hydrocarbon residues in weathered soils may pose risks to humans through the ingestion pathway. To understand the factors controlling their gastrointestinal (GI) absorption, a newly developed experimental extraction protocol was used to model the GI solubility of total petroleum hydrocarbon (TPH) residues in highly weathered soils from different sites. The GI solubility of TPH residues was significantly higher for soil contaminated with diesel than with crude oil. Compared to the solubility of TPH residues during fasted state,the solubility of TPH residues during fat digestion was much greater. Diesel solubility increased from an average of 8% during the "gallbladder empty" phase of fasting (and less than 0.2% during the other fasting phase) to an average of 16% during fat digestion. For crude oil, the solubility increased from an average of 1.2% during the gallbladder empty phase of fasting (and undetectable during the other fasting phase) to an average of 4.5% during fat digestion. Increasing the concentration of bile salts also increased GI solubility. GI solubility was reduced by soil organic carbon but enhanced by the TPH content.