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Chemosphere. 2005 Mar;58(11):1517-24.

Analysis of some organochlorine pesticides in an urban atmosphere (Strasbourg, east of France).

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  • 1Laboratoire de Physico-Chimie de l'Atmosphère, (UMR 7517), Centre de Géochimie de la Surface, et Département de Chimie de l'Université Louis Pasteur, 1 rue Blessig, 67084 Strasbourg cedex, France.


High volume samples of urban air have been collected in Strasbourg, a big city situated in the east of France, for the evaluation of the contamination by organochlorine pesticides. Pesticides (p,p'-DDT, p,p'-DDD, p,p'-DDE, aldrin, dieldrin, endrin, gamma-HCH, cis-chlordane, trans-chlordane, alpha-endosulfan, beta-endosulfan, hexachlorobenzene, heptachlor and some of their metabolites: alpha-HCH, 2,4'-DDT, 2,4'-DDD and 2,4'-DDE) were analysed by GC-ECD. Prior to analysis, samples were Soxhlet extracted with a mixture of n-hexane/methylene chloride. The analysis of samples collected in 2001 (n = 6), 2002 (n = 7) and 2003 (n = 5) shows that alpha-HCH and gamma-HCH were detected in all samples (between 0.05 and 4 ng m(-3) and between 0.01 and 1 ng m(-3), respectively) along with aldrin and dieldrin at lower concentrations (between 0.01 and 0.08 ng m(-3) and between 0.02 and 0.09 ng m(-3), respectively). Other pesticides were detected very randomly at very low concentrations. The calculation of the alpha/gamma-HCH ratio shows that hexachlorocyclohexane measured in the atmosphere have a local origin and come probably from contaminated soil by volatilisation. alpha and beta-endosulfan were practically not detected in samples collected in 2001 and 2002 while they were always measured in the gas phase in samples from 2003. This observation can be explained by an increase of volatilisation with the increase of the air temperature. In July, temperature were higher (between 17 and 30 degrees C in climatic station) than in March-May 2001 and 2002 (between 2 and 19 and between 2 and 10, respectively).

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