Relations Between Land Use and Organochlorine Pesticides, PCBs, and Semi-Volatile Organic Compounds in Streambed Sediment and Fish on the Island of Oahu, Hawaii

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Abstract

Bed-sediment and/or fish samples were collected from 27 sites around the island of Oahu (representing urban, agricultural, mixed, and forested land use) to determine the occurrence and distribution of hydrophobic organic compounds including organochlorine pesticides, polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs), and semi-volatile organic compounds (SVOCs). Of the 28 organochlorine compounds analyzed in the fish, 14 were detected during this study. Nineteen of the 31 organochlorine compounds and 40 of the 65 SVOCs were detected in the sediment. Urban sites had the highest number of detections and tended to have the highest concentrations of pesticides. Chlordane compounds were the most frequently detected constituents at urban sites, followed by dieldrin, polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs), and DDT compounds. PAHs were the most frequently detected constituents in watersheds with mixed (urban and agricultural) land use. The only pesticides detected at agricultural sites were DDT and its degradation products, DDD and DDE. No pesticides or PCBs were detected at the forested sites, but a few ubiquitous SVOCs were found in sediments at some forested sites. In general, concentrations of the most frequently detected pesticides were higher in fish than in sediment. Following a trend that has been observed elsewhere in the nation, concentrations of most organochlorine pesticides and PCBs are decreasing in Hawaii.