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Mar Pollut Bull. 2012 Feb;64(2):445-8. doi: 10.1016/j.marpolbul.2011.11.004. Epub 2011 Dec 3.

Measurement of persistent organic pollutants (POPs) in plastic resin pellets from remote islands: toward establishment of background concentrations for International Pellet Watch.

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Surfrider Foundation, Oahu, HI, USA.


Plastic resin pellets collected from remote islands in the Pacific, Atlantic, and Indian Oceans and the Caribbean Sea were analyzed for polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs), dichloro-diphenyltrichloroethane and its degradation products (DDTs), and hexachlorocyclohexanes (HCHs). Concentrations of PCBs (sum of 13 congeners) in the pellets were 0.1-9.9 ng/g-pellet. These were 1-3 orders of magnitude smaller than those observed in pellets from industrialized coastal shores. Concentrations of DDTs in the pellets were 0.8-4.1 ng/g-pellet. HCH concentrations were 0.6-1.7 ng/g-pellet, except for 19.3 ng/g-pellet on St. Helena, where current use of lindane is likely influence. This study provides background levels of POPs (PCBs<10 ng/g-pellet, DDTs <4 ng/g-pellet, HCHs <2 ng/g-pellet) for International Pellet Watch. Sporadic large concentrations of POPs were found in some pellet samples from remote islands and should be considered in future assessments of pollutants on plastic debris.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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