Persistent organic pollutants in lacustrine environments

Yang, Congqiao (2014). Persistent organic pollutants in lacustrine environments. University of Birmingham. Ph.D.

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Water samples taken from nine English freshwater lakes from a mix of urban, rural, and remote locations on 13 occasions between April 2008 and February 2012 were analysed for selected non-dioxin like-PCBs, tri- through hexa-PBDEs, and the three main HBCD diastereomers (\(\alpha\)-, \(\beta\)-, and \(\gamma\)-HBCD). Concentrations of PCBs and HBCDs declined over the sampling period with half-lives of 3.8 and 5.1 years, respectively. In addition, concentrations of PCBs, HBCDs, tri- through deca-BDEs, and 32 selected NBFRs were measured in radiometrically-dated sediment core slices taken in summer 2011/2 from seven of the same English lakes. Temporal trends in contamination with “legacy” POPs generally accord with historical trends in UK manufacture and use, with PCB contamination at all lakes increasing from ~1950, peaking generally between the late-1960s and mid-1980s, before declining steadily thereafter. In contrast, at most sites, BDE-209 displayed generally smooth increases following its initial emergence, and showed no obvious levelling off trend. Contamination with some NBFRs displayed significantly increasing trends. Spatial variation in POPs contamination of the lakes studied was evident; with regression analysis suggesting concentrations are higher in lakes with surface areas that are small relative to their catchment area, and that are closer to areas of high population density. The estimated PCB burden in the British environment is 521 tons, with TBPH (281 tons) and BDE-209 (147 tons) following not far behind. Estimated UK burdens of the remaining target compounds were significantly lower.

Type of Work: Thesis (Doctorates > Ph.D.)
Award Type: Doctorates > Ph.D.
College/Faculty: Colleges (2008 onwards) > College of Life & Environmental Sciences
School or Department: School of Geography, Earth and Environmental Sciences
Funders: Other
Other Funders: China Scholarship Council
Subjects: G Geography. Anthropology. Recreation > GE Environmental Sciences


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