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Environ Geochem Health. 2013 Oct;35(5):593-604. doi: 10.1007/s10653-013-9542-y. Epub 2013 Jun 23.

Pollution characteristics and potential health risk of polychlorinated dibenzo-p-dioxins and dibenzofurans (PCDD/Fs) in soil/sediment from Baiyin City, North West, China.

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Guangzhou Institute of Geochemistry, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Guangzhou, China.


In order to better understand the environmental behaviors of persistent organic pollutants, the characteristics of polychlorinated dibenzo-p-dioxins and dibenzofurans (PCDD/Fs) were investigated in twenty-three soil/sediment samples from Baiying City, Northwest China, in 2008. The possible sources and potential health risk of PCDD/Fs were also discussed. The concentrations of PCDD/Fs in nineteen soil samples varied between 20.13 and 496.26 pg/g dry weight (dw.), with an average value of 125.59 pg/g dw. The highest International Toxic Equivalent (I-TEQ) of PCDD/Fs (8.34 pg/g dw.) in soil was found at sample S1 collected from proximity to a copper metallurgy plant. The concentrations of PCDD/Fs in four sediment samples ranged from 37.69 to 491.49 pg/g dw., with an average value of 169.95 pg/g dw. The highest I-TEQ of PCDD/Fs (8.56 pg/g dw.) in sediment was found at sample S12 collected from the East big ditch with waste water discharged into the Yellow River. The results indicated that PCDD/Fs contamination of soil/sediment is originated from three sources: chlorine-containing chemicals, non-ferrous metal industrial PCDD/Fs emission and coal burning. The health risk exposure to PCDD/Fs through soil, dust ingestion and dermal absorption ranged from 0.0006 to 0.0134 pg/kg/day Word Health Organization's toxic equivalent in 1998 (WHO1998-TEQ) with mean values 0.0032 pg WHO1998-TEQ for adults and varied between 0.0012 and 0.0256 pg/kg/day WHO1998-TEQ with mean values 0.006 pg/kg/day WHO1998-TEQ for children, respectively. These results indicated that health risk of PCDD/Fs for children should be paid more attention.

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