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Environ Int. 2013 Apr;54:50-8. doi: 10.1016/j.envint.2013.01.006. Epub 2013 Feb 14.

Bioaccumulation of PCDD/Fs, PCBs and PBDEs by earthworms in field soils of an E-waste dismantling area in China.

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  • 1State Key Laboratory of Environmental Chemistry and Ecotoxicology, Research Center for Eco-Environmental Sciences, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Beijing 100085, China.


A total of 60 paired samples of earthworm, corresponding soil and wormcast were collected to investigate the bioaccumulation tendency of polychlorinated dibenzo-p-dioxins/dibenzofurans (PCDD/Fs), polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs) and polybrominated diphenyl ethers (PBDEs) in earthworms from a typical E-waste dismantling area in east China. Significant correlations were observed for the total concentrations among different matrix types except for PCDD/Fs in soil and earthworm. The bioaccumulation tendency showed some differences among the contaminants. Calculated biota-soil accumulation factors (BSAFs) indicated that PCBs and PBDEs had higher bioaccumulation potential compared to PCDD/Fs, which was somewhat different from laboratory studies. The plot of mean BSAFs versus log Kow values for PCBs and PBDEs was well fitted by a second-order polynomial with the maximum BSAF at approximately log Kow of 6.5. While for PCDD/Fs, only a slightly decreasing trend was observed with increasing log Kow. Composition analysis indicated that tetra-, penta- and hexa-halogenated homologs had higher bioaccumulation levels, indicating that medium-halogenated congeners with log Kow around 6.5 are more easily accumulated by earthworms. Furthermore, the ratios of BDE-47/-99 and BDE-99/-100 showed some discrepancies with the technical products and other biotic species, suggesting different bioaccumulation potential of PBDEs in earthworm.

Copyright © 2013 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

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