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Mercury and Organochlorines in the Terrestrial Environment of Schirmacher Hills, Antarctica

Subhavana, K. L., Qureshi, A., Chakraborty, P., Tiwari, A. K.
Bulletin of environmental contamination and toxicology 2019 v.102 no.1 pp. 13-18
DDD (pesticide), DDE (pesticide), HCH (pesticide), alpha-endosulfan, beta-endosulfan, endosulfan sulfate, lindane, mercury, mosses and liverworts, soil, Antarctic region, Antarctica
We report the levels of mercury (Hg) and nine organochlorine pesticides [OCPs: α-hexachlorocyclohexane (HCH), β-HCH, γ-HCH, δ-HCH, α-Endosulfan, β-Endosulfan, Endosulfan sulfate, p,p′-dichlorodiphenyldichloroethylene (DDE) and p,p′-dichlorodiphenyldichloroethane (DDD)] in the terrestrial environment (moss and soil) and water (OCPs only) of Schirmacher Hills, Antarctica. This area has never been studied for mercury and not for OCPs since 1988. Mercury levels in moss, 66 ± 37 ng/g dry weight (dw), are comparable to other Antarctic locations. Levels of α-HCH, below detection to 4.48 ng/g dw, and p,p′-DDE, below detection to 31 ng/g dw, in mosses are lower or marginally higher than other Antarctic locations. No other OCPs were detected in moss. None of the OCPs were detected in soil. This suggests that Schirmacher Hills may be considered as a background site with respect to mercury and analyzed OCPs, despite the operation of two old research stations (Maitri, est. 1989, and Novolazarevskaya, est. 1961) in the region.