, Volume 71, Issue 3, pp 297-316

Distribution of Chlorinated Organic Pollutants in Harbor Sediments of Livorno (Italy): A Multivariate Approach to Evaluate Dredging Sediments

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Abstract

Dredging is a very important procedure for harbor management. InItaly the guidelines for the offshore dumping of dredged materials are issued by the Ministry of Environment. Theydescribed a few steps of dredging activities, such as thesampling strategy, but do not deal with limits or guide-valuesfor the chemical, physical and biological composition of theresulting sediments. The quality of dredged materials is mainlydependent on the presence of inorganic and organic pollutants.In particular, polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs) and organo-chlorinated pesticides are seen as a high priority inmarine environment by international organizations because oftheir persistence, toxicity and bioaccumulation capacity.In this article the presence of some PCBs and organo-chlorinatedpesticides in sediment samples collected from the harbor ofLivorno (Northern Tyrrhenian Sea) was investigated. Theconcentration of HCHs, Aldrin, Chlordanes, DDEs, DDTs, and PCBsin 12 representative sites ranged between <1 μg kg−1and 95, 19, 32, 35, 107, and 111 μg kg−1, respectively.The application of univariate and multivariate statisticaltechniques, such as linear regression analysis and principalcomponent analysis, to the experimental data showed a differentdistribution of PCBs in the two sediment layers. On thecontrary, the vertical distribution of the other investigatedpollutants was more homogeneous and affected by randomvariability. The multivariate approach was an important tool to establish more rational criteria for the management of dredged materials.