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Chlorinated Paraffins in Sediments from the Pearl River Delta, South China: Spatial and Temporal Distributions and Implication for Processes

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journal contribution
posted on 01.12.2011, 00:00 by Man-Ying Chen, Xiao-Jun Luo, Xiu-Lan Zhang, Ming-Jing He, She-Jun Chen, Bi-Xian Mai
Short-chain and medium-chain chlorinated paraffins (SCCPs and MCCPs) were measured in sediments from ponds, rivers and tributaries, and an estuary, as well as a sediment core in the Pearl River Delta (PRD), South China, to comprehensively investigate the spatial and temporal distributions of CPs. The concentrations of SCCPs and MCCPs in sediment were varied from 320 to 6600 ng/g and from 880 to 38 000 ng/g, respectively. Elevated CP concentrations were found in pond sediments (means of 2800 and 21 000 ng/g for SCCPs and MCCPs) in the e-waste recycling area and in river sediments (means of 1200 and 3900 ng/g for SCCPs and MCCPs) in the highly industrialized areas. The significant positive correlations between SCCP concentration and MCCPs/SCCPs in the highly industrialized areas reflected the emission of local industry activities, while the significant negative correlations in the low industrial activity areas could be linked to long-range transportation of CPs. An increased abundance of short chain and low chlorinated congeners was observed in the low industrial activity areas compared to the industrialized areas. The preferred transportation of short chain and low chlorinated congener CPs and the dechlorination of higher chlorinated congeners CPs were the most likely reasons. The vertical profile of CPs in the sediment core indicated a rapid increase in the usage of CPs and a shift to more MCCPs in recent years. The decreased chlorine content of CPs with increasing sediment depth indicated the possibility of dechlorination of higher chlorinated congeners (Cl9 and Cl10) after deposition in sediments with greater dechlorination potential for short chain CPs than long chain CPs.

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