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Journal of Environmental Quality Abstract - Organic Compounds in the Environment

Polychlorinated Biphenyls in Urban Lake Sediments from Wuhan, Central China: Occurrence, Composition, and Sedimentary Record


This article in JEQ

  1. Vol. 38 No. 4, p. 1441-1448
    Received: Mar 1, 2008

    * Corresponding author(s): zfyang@bnu.edu.cn
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  1. Zhifeng Yang *,
  2. Zhenyao Shen,
  3. Fan Gao,
  4. Zhenwu Tang,
  5. Junfeng Niu and
  6. Ya He
  1. State Key Lab. of Water Environment Simulation, School of Environment, Beijing Normal Univ., Beijing 100875, P. R. China


Nine surface sediments and a dated sediment core collected from urban lakes in Wuhan, Central China, were analyzed to investigate the concentrations, occurrence, composition, and depositional fluxes of polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs). The concentrations of ΣPCB (the sum of 39 congeners) in surface sediments ranged from 0.90 to 46.14 ng g−1 dry weight. Only in Longyang Lake and Nantaizi Lake did concentrations of ΣPCB exceed the effects range low value. The concentrations of ΣPCB in the sediment core varied from 1.3 to 43.1 ng g−1 The profile of ΣPCB concentrations closely reflected the changes in production and usage of PCBs in this region, and the profiles of ΣPCB fluxes were similar to those of ΣPCB concentrations, except for a distinct decrease in ΣPCB fluxes after about 1998. This was possibly due to more large-scale cases of land use and increasingly rapidly urban development occurring in China since 2000, resulting in increased lake sediment fluxes but reduced ΣPCB fluxes. The results suggest that urban run-off and wet deposition leaching PCBs off the land and into the lake may be the most important source of PCBs in Donghu Lake. Sedimentary profiles for PCB congeners showed a decrease in concentrations in the following order: penta∼hexa- > tetra- > tri- > hepta-PCBs. The relative abundances of tri- and tetra-PCBs in the core accounted for more than 80% of the total PCBs detected in sediments deposited before their first commercial use, suggesting the post-depositional mobilization of less chlorinated PCB congeners in the sediment core. This is the first study to estimate the spatial and historical trends of PCBs in subtropical urban lakes.

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