Marine pollution bulletin

Severe pollution of PCDD/Fs and dioxin-like PCBs in sediments from Lake Shihwa, Korea: tracking the source.

PMID 22980772


Concentrations of polychlorinated dibenzo-p-dioxins, dibenzofurans (PCDD/Fs) and dioxin-like polychlorinated biphenyls (DL-PCBs) were determined in surface sediments from Lake Shihwa and from creeks that discharge into this artificial lake. The toxic equivalents (TEQs) in sediments ranged from 1.0 to 1770 pg/g dry weight, which were some of the highest values ever reported so far for coastal sediments on a global basis. The concentrations of PCDD/Fs and DL-PCBs decreased with increasing distance from the creeks to offshore regions of the lake. Based on a multivariate statistical analysis and congener profiles, it was found that high contamination by PCDD/Fs in creek sediments collected around Lake Shihwa was associated with releases from chlor-alkali processes. Significant correlations were found for total organic carbon content and the concentrations of highly chlorinated PCDD/F congeners. This is the first report to document chlor-alkali processes as a significant source of PCDD/F contamination in Korean coastal waters.