Polybrominated diphenyl ethers in the sediments of the Great Lakes. 3. Lakes Ontario and Erie

Wenlu Song, Justin C Ford, An Li, Neil C Sturchio, Karl J Rockne, Dave R Buckley, William J Mills
Environmental Science & Technology 2005 August 1, 39 (15): 5600-5
Sediment cores were taken in 2002 in Lakes Ontario and Erie at four locations. A total of 48 sediment samples were characterized, dated using 210Pb, and analyzed for 10 congeners of polybrominated diphenyl ethers (PBDEs) including BDE209 as well as 39 congeners of polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs). The surficial concentrations of nine tri- through hepta-BDE congeners (sigma9PBDE) are 4.85 and 6.33 ng g(-1), at sampling sites ON40 and ON30 in Lake Ontario, and 1.83 and 1.95 ng g(-1) at ER37 and ER09 in Lake Erie, respectively, based on dry sediment weight. The surficial BDE209 concentrations are 242 and 211 ng g(-1) at ON40 and ON30 and 50 and 55 ng g(-1) at ER37 and ER09. The sigma(9-) PBDEs fluxes to the sediment around 2002 are 147 and 195 pg cm(-2) year(-1) at ON40 and ON30 and 136 and 314 pg cm(-2) year(-1) at ER37 and ER09, respectively. The fluxes of BDE209 are 6.5 and 7.3 ng cm(-2) year(-1) at ON30 and ON40 and 3.7 and 8.9 ng cm(-2) year(-1) at ER37 and ER09, respectively. Dramatic increases in PBDE concentrations and fluxes upward toward the sediment surface and the present time are evident at both locations in Lake Ontario, while PCBs concentrations peak in the middle of sediment cores around the dated time of 1970s and 1960s. For both locations of Lake Erie, the increasing trends of both PBDEs and PCBs from the bottom to the surficial segments were distorted by sediment mixing. BDE209 is the most abundant congener among PBDEs in the sediments, constituting about 96 and 91% of the total PBDEs on mass basis in Lakes Ontario and Erie, respectively.

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