Springer Nature is making SARS-CoV-2 and COVID-19 research free. View research | View latest news | Sign up for updates

Historical Trends and Chiral Signatures of Organochlorine Pesticides in Sediments of Qiandao Lake, China


This study investigated the enantiomeric and depth profiles of organochlorine pesticides (OCPs) accumulated in the sediments of Qiandao Lake, China. OCP concentrations in sediments have increased gradually since the early 1960s, when extensive OCPs application in China began. Concentrations reached maximum levels after 1992, this timing corresponds with the emerging of the “new” usage of hexachlorocyclohexanes (HCHs) and dichlorodiphenyltrichloroethane (DDTs). In addition, the degradation of chiral OCPs were enantioselective, resulting in enriched (−)-enantiomers for α-HCH and o, p-DDD. However, both preferential depletions of (−) enantiomers and (+) enantiomers were observed for o, p-DDT. This outcome was indicated by enantiomer fractions (EF) values either greater or less than 0.5.

This is a preview of subscription content, log in to check access.

Fig. 1


  1. Aigner EJ, Leone AD, Falconer RL (1998)Concentrations and enantiomeric ratios of organochlorine pesticides in soil from the US Corn Belt. Environ Sci Technol 32(9):1162–1168

  2. Ali I, Gupta VK, Aboul-Enein HY (2003) Chirality: a challenge for the environmental scientists. Curr Sci 84(2):152–156

  3. Blumer M, Youngblood WW (1975) Polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons in soils and recent sediments. Science 188 (4183):53–55

  4. Falconer RL, Bidleman TF, Gregor DJ, Semkin R, Teixeira C. (1995) Enantioselective breakdown of alpha-hexachlorocyclohexane in a small arctic lake and its watershed. Environ Sci Technol 29(5):1297–1302

  5. Falconer, R. L.; Bidleman, T. F.; Szeto, S. Y. (1997) Chiral pesticides in soils of the Fraser Valley, British Columbia. J Agric Food Chem 45(5):1946–1951.

  6. Garrison AW (2006) Probing the enantioselectivity of chiral pesticides. Environ Sci Technol 40(1):16–23

  7. Hua XM, Shan ZJ (1996) The production and application of pesticides and factor analysis for their pollution in environment in China. Adv Environ Sci 2(4):33–45 (in Chinese)

  8. Hühnerfuss H, Faller J, Kallenborn R, Kōnig WA, Ludwig P, Pffaffenberger B, Oehme M, Rimkus G (1993) Enantioselective and non-enantioselective degradation of organic pollutants in the marine ecosystem. Chirality 5(5):393–399

  9. Jantunen L, Bidleman T (1996) Air-water gas exchange of hexachlorocyclohexanes (HCHs) and the enantiomers of α-HCH in arctic regions. J Geophys Res 102(D15):19279–19282

  10. Koblčková M, Duček L, Jarkovský J, Hofman J, Bucheli TD, Klánová J (2008) Can physicochemical and microbial soil properties explain enantiomeric shifts of chiral organochlorines? Environ Sci Technol 42(16):5978–5984

  11. Kurt-Karakus PB, Bidleman TF, Jones KC (2005) Chiral organochlorine pesticide signatures in global background soils. Environ Sci Technol 39(22):8671–8677

  12. Li J, Zhang G, Qi SH, Li XD, Peng XZ (2006) Concentrations, enantiomeric compositions, and sources of HCH, DDT and chlorodane in soils from the Pearl River Delta, South China. Sci Total Environ 372(1):215–224

  13. Li J, Zhang G, Guo L, Xu W, Li X, Lee, CSL., Ding A, Wang T (2007) Organochlorine pesticides in the atmosphere of Guangzhou and Hong Kong: regional sources and long-range atmospheric transport. Atmos Environ 41(18):3889–3903

  14. Müller MD, Schlabach M, Oehme M (1992) Fast and precise determination of alph-hexachlorocyclohexane enantiomers in environmental samples using chiral high-resolution gas-chromatography. Environ Sci Technol 26(3):566–569

  15. Sahu SK, Ajmal PY, Pandit GG, Puranik VD (2009) Vertical distribution of polychlorinated biphenyl congeners in sediment core from Thane Creek area of Mumbai, India. J Hazard Mater 164(2–3):1573–1579

  16. Wei S, Wang Y, Lam JCW, Zeng GJ, So MK, Yueng LWY, Horii Y, Chen LQ, Yu HX, Yamashita N, Lam PKS (2008) Historical trends of organic pollutants in sediment cores from Hong Kong. Mar Pollut Bull 57(6–12):758–766

  17. Wong MH, Leung, AOW, Chan, JKY, Choi, MPK (2005) A review on the usage of POP pesticides in China, with emphasis on DDT loadings in human milk. Chemosphere 60(6):740–752

  18. Wong F, Robson M, Diamond ML, Harrad S, Truong J (2009) Concentrations and chiral signatures of POPs in soils and sediments: a comparative urban versus rural study in Canada and UK. Chemosphere 74(3):404–441

  19. Wu HL, Jia HL, Zhou L, Yang M, Li YF (2007) The production, use, residual level and analysis of organochlorine pesticides (HCH, DDT) in TaiHu Lake. http://www.china-pops.net/yjnew_view.asp?id=31 (in Chinese)

  20. Yang HY, Xue B, Yu P, Zhou SS, Liu WP (2010) Residues and enantiomeric profiling of organochlorine pesticides in sediments from Yueqing Bay and Sanmen Bay, East China Sea. Chemosphere 80:652–659

  21. Zhang G, Parker A, House A, Mai BX, Li XD, Kang YH, Wang ZS (2002) Sedimentary records of DDT and HCH in the Pearl River Delta, South China. Environ Sci Technol 36(17):3671–3677

Download references


This work was supported by a grant from the National Natural Science Foundations of China (No. 21207030). Hangzhou Science and Technology Development Foundation of China (No.20170533B07).

Author information

Correspondence to Huayun Yang.

Rights and permissions

Reprints and Permissions

About this article

Verify currency and authenticity via CrossMark

Cite this article

Yang, H., Li, W. & Liu, Q. Historical Trends and Chiral Signatures of Organochlorine Pesticides in Sediments of Qiandao Lake, China. Bull Environ Contam Toxicol 99, 350–353 (2017). https://doi.org/10.1007/s00128-017-2131-5

Download citation


  • Organochlorine pesticides (OCPs)
  • Sediment
  • Chiral
  • Qiandao Lake