Occurrence of PAHs, PCBs and organochlorine pesticides in the Tonghui River of Beijing, China

Zulin Zhang, Jun Huang, Gang Yu, Huasheng Hong
Environmental Pollution 2004, 130 (2): 249-61
Tonghui River, a typical river in Beijing, People's Republic of China, was studied for its water and sediment quality, by determining the levels of 16 polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs), 12 polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs) and 18 organochlorine pesticides in water and sediment samples. Total PAHs, PCBs and organochlorine pesticides concentrations in water varied from 192.5 to 2651 ng/l, 31.58-344.9 ng/l and 134.9-3788 ng/l, respectively. The total PAHs, PCBs and organochlorine pesticides concentrations in surficial sediments were 127-928 ng/g, 0.78-8.47 ng/g and 1.79-13.98 ng/g dry weight, respectively. The results showed that the concentration of these selected organic pollutants in sediment was higher than those in surface water. It may be due to the fact that organic hydrophobic pollutants tend to stay in the sediments. The PAHs were dominated by 2-, 3-ring components in water samples and by 3- and 4-ring compounds in sediment. For organochlorines, alpha-HCH, delta-HCH, Heptachlor, Endosulfan II, DDT are the major organochlorine pesticides in water while Heptachlor, Dieldrin and DDE composed of 95% of total organochlorine pesticides in sediment. For HCHs (HCHs=alpha-HCH+beta-HCH+gamma-HCH+delta-HCH), the predominance of alpha-HCH of total HCHs were clearly observed in water and sediment. PCB18, PCB31 and PCB52 were predominant in water, on average these compounds collectively accounted for 67% of total PCBs. But in sediment, the predominant compounds were PCB28, PCB31 and PCB153, which accounted for 71% of total PCBs in sediment. The levels of micro pollutants in our study areas were compared with other studies.

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