Environmental toxicology and chemistry

Residues of DDTs and their spatial distribution characteristics in soils from the Yangtze River Delta, China.

PMID 18092878


Organochlorine pesticides were used extensively in the Yangtze River Delta, China. However, knowledge about their residual levels and environmental fates in soils of this area is limited. This paper presents the residue isomers and spatial pattern of dichlorodiphenyltrichloroethane (DDT) in soils across 17 main cities in the Yangtze River Delta. Forty-three soil surface (0-15 cm) samples were collected during a field campaign conducted in October 2003 in the Delta. Six DDT isomers (1-[2-chlorophenyl]-1-[4-chlorophenyl]-2,2-dichloroethane [o,p'-DDD], 1-[2-chlorophenyl]-1-[4-chlorophenyl]-2,2-dichloroethylene [o,p-'DDE], 1,1,1-trichloro-2-[p-chlorophenyl]-2-[o-chlorophenyl]ethane [o,p'-DDT], p,p'-dichlorodiphenyldichloroethane [p,p'-DDD], p,p'-dichlorodiphenyldichloroethylene [p,p'-DDE], p,p'-dichlorodiphenyltrichloroethane [p,p'-DDT]) were detected using gas chromatography. The results show that p,p'-DDE was the dominant isomer in the soil samples. The levels of DDT are generally low in soils of this area and are comparable to DDT levels in other cities in China and in soils from developed countries such as the United States and Germany. The isomer ratios of o,p'-DDT to p,p'-DDT and DDT to (DDD + DDE) were employed to identify the source of DDT. The computed ratios implied that the source of DDT might be related to the application of dicofol, an acaricide manufactured from technical DDTs and mainly used on cotton fields to treat mites.

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