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Chemosphere. 2013 Jul;92(4):471-6. doi: 10.1016/j.chemosphere.2013.01.036. Epub 2013 Feb 13.

PBDEs as indicator chemicals of urbanization along an urban/rural gradient in South China.

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  • 1Shenzhen Key Laboratory of Circular Economy, Shenzhen Graduate School, Peking University, Shenzhen 518055, China.


Fourteen polybrominated diphenyl ethers (PBDEs) were measured in surface sediments collected from an urban watershed in a rapidly urbanizing region, Shenzhen, China. BDE209 was the predominant congener of PBDEs detected in surface sediments, which was consistent with the fact that technical deca-BDE mixtures are the dominant PBDE formulation used in China, especially the Pearl River Delta. A positive association between sediment PBDEs and catchment degree of urbanization suggested that the rapid urbanization process may be affecting the PBDEs levels in surface sediments. Similar to the "urban heat island effect", an "urban pollution island effect" was observed in the present study. These results indicated that PBDEs can be used as potential indicator chemicals of catchment's urbanization process in the present region.

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