Assessing metal contamination from construction and demolition (C&D) waste used to infill wetlands: using Deroceras reticulatum (Mollusca: Gastropoda)
Large quantities of construction and demolition waste (C&D) are produced globally every year, with little known about potential environmental impacts. In the present study, the slug, Deroceras reticulatum (Mollusca: Gastropoda) was used as the first biomonitor of metals (Ag, As, Ba, Cd, Co, Cr, Cu, Mn, Mo, Ni, Pb, Sb, Se, Ti, Tl, V and Zn) on wetlands post infilling with construction and demolition (C&D) waste. The bioaccumulation of As, Ba, Cd, Co, Sb, Se and Tl were found to be significantly elevated in slugs collected on C&D waste when compared to unimproved pastures (control sites), while Mo, Se and Sr had significantly higher concentrations in slugs collected on C&D waste when compared to known contaminated sites (mining locations), indicating the potential hazardous nature of C&D waste to biota. Identifying exact sources for these metals within the waste can be problematic, due to its heterogenic nature. Biomonitors are a useful tool for future monitoring and impact studies, facilitating policy makers and regulations in other countries regarding C&D waste infill. In addition, improving separation of C&D waste to allow increased reuse and recycling is likely to be effective in reducing the volume of waste being used as infill, subsequently decreasing potential metal contamination.