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Identifying Sources and Mass Balance of Dioxin Pollution in Lake Shinji Basin, Japan

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journal contribution
posted on 06.04.2001, 00:00 by Shigeki Masunaga, Yuan Yao, Isamu Ogura, Satoshi Nakai, Yutaka Kanai, Masumi Yamamuro, Junko Nakanishi
On the basis of congener-specific analysis of dioxins in a dated sediment core, the sources and behavior of dioxins in Lake Shinji Basin, Japan, were estimated. The dioxins in the core showed that their deposition in the lake increased rapidly during the 1960s, peaked in the early 1970s, and then decreased gradually. Principal component analysis of the congener-specific data showed that three major sources existed:  pentachlorophenol (PCP), chloronitrophen (CNP), and combustion. PCP and CNP are paddy field herbicides used extensively in the basin. The time trends of source contributions were estimated by multiple regression analysis using the source profiles. The results revealed that dioxin emission from PCP and CNP herbicides was high in the 1960s and the early 1970s, respectively. The contributions from PCP, CNP, and combustion in recent surface sediment were about 68, 16, and 16% in terms of total amount of dioxins. From the decreasing trend of dioxin deposition in the lake after extensive herbicide use, the amount of dioxins that accumulated in the agricultural soil in the basin was estimated to have decreased by about 2%/yr or a half-life of about 35 yr, indicating that dioxin runoff from agricultural fields would continue for a long time.