Chlorinated pesticides and PCBs in the sea-surface microlayer and seawater samples of Singapore

Oliver Wurl, Jeffrey Philip Obbard
Marine Pollution Bulletin 2005, 50 (11): 1233-43
Sea-surface microlayer (SML) and seawater samples collected from Singapore's coastal marine environment were analyzed for selected chlorinated pesticides and polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs). The SML is a potential site of enrichment of persistent organic pollutants (POPs) compared to the underlying water column. The concentration ranges of SigmaHCH, SigmaDDT and SigmaPCB in subsurface (1 m depth) seawater were 0.4-27.2 ng/l (mean 4.0 ng/l), 0.01-0.6 ng/l (mean 0.1 ng/l) and 0.05-1.8 ng/l (mean 0.5 ng/l) respectively. In the SML, the concentration ranges of SigmaHCH, SigmaDDT and SigmaPCB were 0.6-64.6 ng/l (mean 9.9 ng/l), 0.01-0.7 ng/l (mean 0.2 ng/l) and 0.07-12.4 ng/l (mean 1.3 ng/l) respectively. High spatial and temporal distribution was observed for all POPs measured. However, overall levels measured in the SML were lower than levels reported in the literature for SML samples from temperate coastal regions-possibly due to loss of semi-volatile compounds in the tropical climate of Singapore. Atmospheric wet deposition during the monsoon season may be an important source of POPs to the SML. This study provides the first scientific data on POP concentrations and enrichment factors in the SML for Southeast Asia.

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