Source identification, spatio-temporal distribution and ecological risk of persistent organic pollutants in sediments from the upper Danube catchment

In this study, the authors analysed riverine sediments, collected on a monthly basis during a period of one year, from five sites in a mixed land use region of the Czech Republic, for chlorinated and brominated persistent organic pollutants (POPs). The region is located in the upper catchment of the Danube River. The POPs concentrations were as follows: 11-930pgg (-1) polychlorinated dibenzo-p-dioxins and dibenzofurans (PCDDs/Fs), 170-980pgg (-1) dioxin-like polychlorinated biphenyls (dl-PCBs), 34-13,700pgg (-1) polychlorinated naphthalenes (PCNs), 5.7-29,200pgg (-1) polybrominated diphenylethers (PBDEs) and 0.21-351ngg (-1) hexabromocyclododecanes (HBCDs). Concentrations expressed as toxic equivalents (TEQs), for PCDD/F+dl-PCB+PCN (TEQPCDD/F+dl-PCB+PCN) ranged from 0.37 to 19pgg (-1). The results revealed a clear spatial separation between sites based on concentration and congener profile. There were also some obvious temporal patterns of selected POPs, which were related to river flow (seasonality) and organic carbon (TOC) of the sediment. Potential sources of POPs include local municipalities (flame retardants), some diffuse sources (PCNs and PCDDs/Fs) and potential point sources (PBDEs). Risk assessment based on risk quotients (RQ) revealed limited to medium ecological risk from PBDEs. TEQPCDD/F+dl-PCB+PCN were low relative to other European rivers, hence the risk to aquatic organisms was considered to be low. PCNs contributed significantly to overall TEQ in several cases.

Authors: Kuku?ka P, Audy O, Kohoutek J, Holt E, Kalábová T, Holoubek I, Klánová J. ;Full Source: Chemosphere. 2015 Aug 17;138:777-783. doi: 10.1016/j.chemosphere.2015.08.001. [Epub ahead of print] ;