Terrestrial environment

Occurrence and congeners specific of polychlorinated biphenyls in agricultural soils from Southern Jiangsu, China

ZHANG Jian-ying , QIU Li-min , HE Jia , LIAO Yuan , LUO Yong-min


Received January 16, 2006,Revised September 29, 2006, Accepted , Available online

Volume 19,2007,Pages 338-342

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A total of 198 agricultural soil samples were collected from Zhangjiagang and Changshu in Southern Jiangsu for analysis of 13 polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs) in order to assess levels of pollution, sources, area distribution, and potential risk for the environment. All methods were rigorously tested and an adequate quality control was ensured. Only one site had no PCBs residues, and the highest total PCB concentration in the surface soils was 32.83 ng/g. The average concentration in all the soil samples was 4.13 ng/g, signaling low-level pollution. Tetra, penta, and hexachlorinated biphenyls were dominant species in soil samples, accounting for > 75% of ∑PCBs in the soil samples. PCB118 was the most abundant congener in all the samples. The PCB118/∑PCBs was about 20%. The soil organic matter content showed only a weak correlation with the levels of all PCB congeners, in which a better correlation was noted for the more volatile lighter PCB congeners than for the heavier homologues. To a certain extent, the sources and land use seemed to have influenced the levels of PCBs.

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