Jump to main content
Jump to site search

Issue 2, 2003
Previous Article Next Article

Distribution of polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs) and organochlorine pesticides in soils from the East Antarctic coast

Author affiliations

Abstract

Concentrations of hexachlorobenzene (HCB), α-, β- and γ-hexachlorocyclohexane (HCH) isomers, 6 o,p′- and p,p′-isomers of DDT and 28 PCB congeners have been measured in eleven soil samples and one lichen collected on the Eastern coast of Antarctica from 5 Russian stations. For samples with low concentrations of PCBs (range 0.20–0.41 ng g−1 dry weight) and pesticides (0.86–4.69 ng g−1 and 0.11–1.22 ng g−1 dry weight for HCHs and DDTs, respectively), atmospheric long-range transport from Africa, South America or Australia was suggested as the sole source of contamination. The profile of PCB congeners was dominated by the more volatile tri-, tetra- and penta-PCBs congeners, thus supporting long-range transport hypothesis. Four samples contained moderate levels of PCBs (range 1.98–6.94 ng g−1 dry weight) and variable concentrations of pesticides (γ-HCH, p,p′-DDT and o,p′-DDT being the main contaminants). For samples with high concentrations of PCBs (range 90.26–157.45 ng g−1) and high concentrations of pesticides, the presence of high molecular weight PCB congeners such as: 153, 180, 187, 170 etc, strongly suggest a local source (biotic) of PCBs rather than atmospheric transport. It is likely that on a local scale, biotic focussing of pollutants, due to bird activities (nesting and excrement) can cause high contamination levels and become more significant than contaminant input via abiotic pathways.

Back to tab navigation

Publication details

The article was received on 15 Jan 2003, accepted on 03 Feb 2003 and first published on 12 Feb 2003


Article type: Paper
DOI: 10.1039/B300555K
J. Environ. Monit., 2003,5, 281-286

  •   Request permissions

    Distribution of polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs) and organochlorine pesticides in soils from the East Antarctic coast

    T. G. Negoita, A. Covaci, A. Gheorghe and P. Schepens, J. Environ. Monit., 2003, 5, 281
    DOI: 10.1039/B300555K

Search articles by author

Spotlight

Advertisements