BIOLOGICAL ASPECTS INVOLVED IN THE DEGRADATION OF ORGANIC POLLUTANTS
Worldwide use of pesticide has increased dramatically during the last two decades. As a consequence, pesticide residues and their transformation products are frequently found in groundwater and surface waters. This review summarizes information about polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs), polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs), some chlorophenols; it mainly empathizes on pesticides, their incorporation into the environment, microorganisms involved in their degradation and, some physico-chemical aspects of pesticides behavior in soils. Details about residues of pesticides in groundwater and superficial water found in some foreign countries and in Chile are reported, as well. The fungal degradation of organic pollutants (xenobiotics) is considered as an effective method to remove these pollutants from the environment by a process which is currently known as bioremediation. Therefore, the degradation of pesticides by soil microorganisms with particular attention to white-rot fungi is also addressed. Finally, a simple and effective system (biobed) to minimize environmental contamination from pesticide manipulation, especially when filling the spraying equipment, a typical point source of contamination, is presented here.