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PCBs and PCDD/Fs in lake sediments of Grosser Arbersee, Bavarian Forest, South Germany

Environmental Pollution 95(1): 19-25

PCBs and PCDD/Fs in lake sediments of Grosser Arbersee, Bavarian Forest, South Germany

Despite their environmental importance, there are still relatively few historical studies of the environmental occurrence of polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs), polychlorinated dibenzo-p-dioxins and dibenzofurans (PCDD/Fs), especially in middle Europe. Trends in PCBs and PCDD/Fs were, therefore, assessed in lake sediments of the Gro-beta-er Arbersee over the past 130 years (1860-1990). Ballschmiter-PCB concentrations (congeners 28, 52, 101, 138, 153, 180) increased between 1946 and 1972 from 4.2 to 32.0 mu-g kg-1 dry wt, but have since decreased to 25.6 mu-g kg-1 dry wt. High chlorinated PCB congeners reached their maxima earlier (1968-1972) than low chlorinated congeners (1985-1991). These trends were consistent with patterns expected from the production and use of PCBs and their precursors. PCDD/F concentrations increased between 1950 from 0.6 mu-g kg-1 dry wt to 2.3 mu-g kg-1 dry wt in 1977, falling to 1.7 mu-g kg-1 dry wt by 1993. PCDF concentrations exceeded those of PCDD until 1968, but afterwards PCDDs (especially OCDD) were predominant. These patterns suggest that domestic heating and waste combustion were the most likely sources, but pollution from local industries, such as metal smelting and glass production, might also have been involved. The data provide a valuable case study from central Europe which confirms the overall declining trends of PCB and PCDD/F contamination shown elsewhere.

Accession: 002914367

PMID: 15093470

DOI: 10.1016/S0269-7491(96)00118-2

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