International Pellet Watch: global monitoring of persistent organic pollutants (POPs) in coastal waters. 1. Initial phase data on PCBs, DDTs, and HCHs

Yuko Ogata, Hideshige Takada, Kaoruko Mizukawa, Hisashi Hirai, Satoru Iwasa, Satoshi Endo, Yukie Mato, Mahua Saha, Keiji Okuda, Arisa Nakashima, Michio Murakami, Nico Zurcher, Ruchaya Booyatumanondo, Mohamad Pauzi Zakaria, Le Quang Dung, Miriam Gordon, Carlos Miguez, Satoru Suzuki, Charles Moore, Hrissi K Karapanagioti, Steven Weerts, Tim McClurg, Erick Burres, Wally Smith, Michael Van Velkenburg, Judith Selby Lang, Richard C Lang, Duane Laursen, Brenda Danner, Nickol Stewardson, Richard C Thompson
Marine Pollution Bulletin 2009, 58 (10): 1437-46
Samples of polyethylene pellets were collected at 30 beaches from 17 countries and analyzed for organochlorine compounds. PCB concentrations in the pellets were highest on US coasts, followed by western Europe and Japan, and were lower in tropical Asia, southern Africa and Australia. This spatial pattern reflected regional differences in the usage of PCBs and was positively correlated with data from Mussel Watch, another monitoring approach. DDTs showed high concentrations on the US west coast and in Vietnam. In Vietnam, DDT was predominant over its metabolites (DDE and DDD), suggesting the principal source may be current usage of the pesticide for malaria control. High concentrations of pesticide HCHs were detected in the pellets from southern Africa, suggesting current usage of the pesticides in southern Africa. This study demonstrates the utility and feasibility of the International Pellet Watch approach to monitor POPs at a global scale.

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