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Ecotoxicol Environ Saf. 1989 Oct;18(2):149-64.

2,3,7,8-tetrachlorodibenzo-p-dioxin (TCDD) persistence in the Seveso (Milan, Italy) soil.

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  • 1Department of Nuclear and Theoretical Physics, University of Pavia, Italy.


Preliminary results of a new study on TCDD environmental persistence at Seveso (Milan, Italy) are presented. For this study, the most contaminated territory, Zone A, was divided into areas to fractionate the available TCDD levels in soil into data sets with reduced value spreads. In addition, various time subsets were defined for each area. Selected data were fitted with the exponential model y = y0.e-k.1. It was estimated that at least 1.2 kg TCDD was present in Zone A shortly after the accident. On average, a considerable portion (23%) of this amount lay on vegetation; TCDD which was not photodegraded or volatilized before the heavy rains of fall 1976, was later washed off and transferred to ground by water action. From this study, mean analytical underestimations affecting January 1977 and March 1978 contamination map data were on the order of 30 and 24%. All the above figures are considered optimistic. A few years after the accident, mean TCDD half-life in soil appeared to be 9.1y (t1/2-95% CLs, 6.2-17y).

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