We investigated the occurrence of brominated flame retardants (BFRs), organochlorine pesticides (OCPs), and polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs) in the surface soils from the largest BFR-manufacturing and vegetable farming center (Shouguang) of North China. The total concentrations of BFRs ranged from 39.9 to 8,145 ng/g dry weight with a mean of 1,947 ng/g. The BFRs were dominated by decabromodiphenylethane (deca-BDEs) and tetrabromobisphenol A (TBBPA), with means of 1127 and 672 ng/g, respectively, followed by decabromodiphenyl ethane (DBDPE) (111 ng/g) and hexabromocyclododecanes (HBCD) (37.5 ng/g). This profile was generally consistent with the BFR production and use in China, except for TBBPA. Although the lower brominated BDEs (tri- through hepta-BDEs) in the soil may originate from technical deca-BDE mixtures as trace impurities and/or from the degradation of deca-BDEs, deca-BDE was shown to be persistent in the soil. The concentrations of OCPs (44 ng/g) were significantly lower than those of BFRs and displayed a spatial distribution opposite to that of BFRs, which was concentrated in the industrial zone. PCBs (with the lowest levels) showed a relatively uniform spatial distribution because of regional diffusive sources. The mass inventories for the entire land soil (20-cm) were estimated to be 1042, 26, and 3.7 t for BFRs, OCPs, and PCBs, respectively.
Keywords: BFRs; Mass inventory; OCPs; PCBs; Soil; Spatial distribution.
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