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Sci Total Environ. 2006 Feb 15;355(1-3):31-47.

Trace element and Sigma DDT concentrations in horticultural soils from the Tasman, Waikato and Auckland regions of New Zealand.

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University of Waikato, Private Bag 3105, Hamilton, New Zealand.


The long-term routine use of agrichemicals can result in elevated levels of trace elements and persistent organic pollutants in soils. Trace element concentrations and SigmaDDT levels were measured in soil (0-7.5 cm) samples collected from horticultural and grazing properties in 3 regions of New Zealand (Auckland, Tasman and Waikato). Elevated levels of arsenic (<2 to 58 mg kg(-1)), cadmium (<0.1 to 1.5 mg kg(-1)), copper (5 to 523 mg kg(-1)), lead (5 to 243 mg kg(-1)) and SigmaDDT (<0.03 to 34.5 mg kg(-1)) were detected in soils from all 3 regions. With the exception of cadmium and zinc, significantly higher levels of contaminants were generally detected in horticultural soils than in grazing soils. Our results have implications for the on-going use of agrichemicals as concentrations of cadmium, copper, tin and zinc in some samples exceeded ecotoxicity based soil criteria. The p,p'-DDE:DDT ratios indicate that the degradation of DDT in NZ horticultural soils may be inhibited by the co-contamination with trace elements.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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