Levels of Persistent Organic Pollutants (POPs) in sediments from Lenga estuary, central Chile

Superficial sediments from Lenga estuary in the VIII region of central Chile were analysed for Polychlorinated Biphenyls (PCBs) and Hexachlorobenzene (HCB). Organic carbon (OC) analysis was also performed and the statistical correlations (Pearson correlations) between compounds were also tested. Results showed the total PCB concentrations (ng g(-1) d.w.) fluctuated from similar to 20 to 10,000. These levels are higher than those reported in other coastal sediments of the world. The PCB profile was dominated by middle to highly chlorinated congeners (6-CI = 40% and 7-CI = 30%). HCB concentrations (ng g(-1), d.w.), were lower than the PCBs and, fluctuated between 1 (at L1) and 870 (at L4). OC values ranged from 1% (L1) to 7% (L4) showing a significant positive correlations between OC% and PCBs (r = 0.86; p < 0.05) and for HCB (r = 0.71). These results are an important contribution to knowledge of levels of POPs levels in coastal Chilean environments. (C) 2013 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

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