Monitoring and risk assessment of polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs) in agricultural soil from two industrialized areas.
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Environmental geochemistry and health, ISSN: 1573-2983, Vol: 39, Issue: 2, Page: 279-291
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- Environmental Science; Earth and Planetary Sciences; Industrialized area; Monitoring; Polychlorinated biphenyls; Ulsan; Gwangyang
For monitoring and risk assessment, levels and distributions of Σ PCBs in paddy soil samples collected from Gwangyang (10 sites) and Ulsan (20 sites), heavily industrialized cities in Korea, were investigated using high-resolution gas chromatography/high-resolution mass spectrometry. Overall, total concentrations of Σ PCBs in Gwangyang (216.4-978.6 pg g dw) and Ulsan (273.8-1824.1 pg g dw) were higher than those (106.6-222.6 pg g dw) in agricultural soil from Anseong in Korea. The TEQ (toxic equivalency) values from Gwangyang (0.06-0.40 ng TEQ kg dw) and Ulsan (0.06-0.22 ng TEQ kg dw) were higher than those (0.04-0.11 ng TEQ kg dw) in Anseong but lower than the WHO threshold level (20 ng TEQ kg). However, one of the most toxic congeners, PCB 126, gave the highest concentration, possibly posing a risk to the biota. Seven indicator PCB congeners contributed to 50-80% of the total concentration of Σ PCBs, indicating the 7 PCBs can be used as valuable indicators for monitoring. The principal component analysis and cluster analysis for the homologue profiles of PCBs indicated that all the samples from both cities had the similar PCB contamination patterns, and the major sources of the PCB contamination were most likely from the usage of Aroclor 1254 than those of Aroclors 1242 and 1260. These PCB technical mixtures were possibly significantly used by various industries including iron and steel industries in Gwangyang and petrochemical and shipbuilding industries in Ulsan.