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Science. 1998 May 1;280(5364):722-4.

Reductive dechlorination of DDE to DDMU in marine sediment microcosms.

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  • 1MBI International, 3900 Collins Road, Post Office Box 27609, Lansing, MI 48909-0609, USA.


DDT is reductively dechlorinated to DDD and dehydrochlorinated to DDE; it has been thought that DDE is not degraded further in the environment. Laboratory experiments with DDE-containing marine sediments showed that DDE is dechlorinated to DDMU in both methanogenic and sulfidogenic microcosms and that DDD is dehydrochlorinated to DDMU three orders of magnitude more slowly. Thus, DDD does not appear to be an important precursor of the DDMU found in these sediments. These results imply that remediation decisions and risk assessments based on the recalcitrance of DDE in marine and estuarine sediments should be reevaluated.

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