Bulletin of environmental contamination and toxicology

Behavior of dioxin like PCBs and PBDEs during early diagenesis of organic matter in settling material and bottom sediments from the sewage impacted Buenos Aires' coastal area, Argentina.

PMID 25078661


Settling particles (SPs) and sediments collected in the Buenos Aires sewer area were analyzed for dioxin like polychlorinated biphenyls (dlPCBs) and polybrominated diphenyl ethers (PBDEs) to follow early diagenetic changes during transport and deposition of organic matter. SP showed a temporal trend of higher total organic carbon (TOC) and fresher dlPCBs and PBDEs signatures during warm-rainy months related to more efficient washout of residues. TOC-normalized sediment trap concentrations suggest a diagenetic magnification of dlPCBs during cold-dry months due to enhanced decomposition of TOC, whereas most labile PBDEs appear to follow TOC decay. The diagenetic behavior of individual congeners along seasonal changes (cold/warm) and during deposition (bottom sediment/SP) shows the selective preservation of heavier, more persistent congeners with a positive relationship with sediment half-lives. The 3-4 times diagenetic magnification of heavier congeners observed in bottom sediments would be a prevailing long-term pathway for dlPCBs and PBDEs bioaccumulation in detritus feeding organisms.