Humic substances, naturally occurring highly polymerized organic compounds, exist widely in the water and soil environments. It has been known that the humic substances affect the fate of micro-organic pollutants (e.g. intake, accumulation, movement, degradation, toxicity, etc.). Of these, the effect of humic substances on the intake into biota (i.e. living cell) is one of the most important. In this research, the effects of co-existing humic substances on the intake of micro-organic pollutants into aquatic biota were experimentally evaluated. The humic acid filtrate using a 3,000 Da ultra-filtration membrane was used. Two PAHs (i.e. pyrene and phenanthrene) were used as micro-organic pollutants. Liposome for simulating living cell membrane was synthesized in the laboratory, and used for investigating the intake of micro-organic pollutants into aquatic biota precisely. The batch experiment results (PAHs onto humic acid, humic acid into liposome, and PAHs into liposome (Klipw)) led to the fact that the sorption of PAHs into liposome is suppressed apparently by binding with humic acid in the aqueous phase. This suggests that the accumulation and/or toxicity of micro-organic pollutants is retarded by humic substances in the actual aqueous environment. Moreover, the experimental results indicated that the sorption into liposome (i.e. liposome/water partition coefficient (Klipw)) could be a better parameter for estimating the intake of micro-organic pollutants into aquatic biota than n-octanol/water partition coefficient (Kow) in the aqueous environment.

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