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DDTs and HCHs in sediment cores from the coastal East China Sea

Lin, Tian, Nizzetto, Luca, Guo, Zhigang, Li, Yuanyuan, Li, Jun, Zhang, Gan
The Science of the total environment 2016 v.539 pp. 388-394
DDT (pesticide), HCH (pesticide), estuaries, fractionation, inventories, land use, sediment deposition, sediment transport, sediments, soil erosion, watersheds, China, East China Sea, Yangtze River
Four sediment cores were collected along the Yangtze-derived sediment transport pathway in the inner shelf of the East China Sea (ECS) for OCP analysis. The sediment records of HCHs and DDTs in estuarine environment reflected remobilization of chemicals from enhanced soil erosion associated to extreme flood events or large scale land use transformation. The sediment records in the open sea, instead, reflected long-term historical trends of OCP application in the source region. Unlike the so-called mud wedge distribution of sediment, inventories of HCHs and DDTs slightly increased from the mouth of Yangtze River alongshore toward south, suggesting the sediment deposition rate was one of factors on the exposure of chemicals within the inner shelf of the ECS. Re-suspension and transport of the Yangtze-derived sediment and consequent fractionation in grain size and TOC were also responsible for the spatial variation of inventories of catchment derived OCPs in a major repository area of the Yangtze suspended sediment. The total burdens of HCHs and DDTs in the inner shelf of the ECS were 35tons and 110tons, respectively. After 1983 (year of the official ban in China), those values were 13tons and 50tons, respectively. It appears that the Yangtze still delivers relatively high inputs of DDTs more than 30years after the official ban. High proportions of DDD+DDE and β-HCH suggested those OCPs mainly originated from historical usage in the catchment recent years.