Historical trends of PCBs and PBDEs as reconstructed in a lake sediment from southern Tibetan Plateau

Guibin Jiang , Ruiqiang Yang , Ting Xie , Pu Wang , Yingming Li , Qinghua Zhang


Received September 03, 2019,Revised , Accepted April 16, 2020, Available online June 12, 2020

Volume 32,2020,Pages 31-38

High-altitude lake sediment can be used as a natural archive to reconstruct the history of pollutants. In this work, the temporal distribution of polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs) and polybrominated diphenyl ethers (PBDEs) were determined using a high-resolution gas chromatography coupled with high-resolution mass spectrometer (HRGC/HRMS) in an alpine lake sediment core collected from the southern Tibetan Plateau (TP) to examine whether the expected decreasing trends due to the implementation of the international Conventions could be observed. The concentrations of PCBs and PBDEs in the sediment core were in the range of 11.8–142 pg/g dw and ND-457 pg/g dw, and their fluxes were in the range of 2.51–31.7 ng/(m2·yr) and ND-43.2 ng/(m2·yr), respectively. The prevalence of low-chlorinated (tri-CB) PCBs and low-brominated (tri- to tetra-) PBDEs in most sections of the sediment profiles was observed, suggesting that the light molecular weight PCBs and PBDEs have most likely reached lake sediments by long-range atmospheric transport from distant sources. Despite the restrictions on their applications, the sediment records for the concentrations and fluxes showed no corresponding decreasing trend with restrictions for PCBs, which suggested that these POPs (e.g., PCBs) were still emitted to the environment owing to the influence of primary or secondary emissions. To our knowledge, this is the first report on input history of atmospheric PCBs and PBDEs recorded in TP Lake sediment.

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